The Los Angeles Lakers’ first game of 2024 was a massive disappointment. Darvin Ham’s team mustered just 96 points in a loss to the Miami Heat and have now fallen under .500 for the season. Poor shooting and turnovers did the Lakers in on, and they have now lost eight of their last 10 games.
Nothing is clicking for the Lakers on either side of the ball, and after the game Ham reflected on the self-inflicted issues hurting them, and stressed the need for the team to be more aggressive overall.
“Just being aggressive,” Ham said when asked what his message to the Lakers was. “Taking care of the ball, not having self-inflicted wounds, which caused them to get their juices going early. The turnovers really killed us tonight because 22 turnovers, 22 times, we didn’t get a field-goal attempt.
“The effort and the force which Miami plays with it’s totally, highly respected by me individually and the rest of the league. You just want your team to come out and do simple things in terms of attacking possessions, good, bad or indifferent.
“Just got to attack each and every possession on both sides of the ball. And again, you can’t have self-inflicted wounds. That’s the biggest thing. And so, again, we talked about it yesterday and our team film. Discussed a little bit this morning in terms of focusing on them, and we’ll continue to chip in at the rock. We’ll break through.”
Ham still continues to have belief in this Lakers team and with the talent on hand it’s for good reason. Yet, that’s not translated to sustained success.
Anthony Davis mentioned the fact that some seem to be getting down when their shots aren’t falling and Ham believes that’s an issue as well.
“I just think not getting discouraged, that’s the biggest thing,” Ham added. “We have this thing where it’s a new stat called a limbo rate. And you got to get to understand you have to have a next-play mentality. Regardless of what happens on the floor, you turn the ball over, you try to make a competitive play, great. The unforced turnovers are the ones that really hurt you.
“We had 10, I have to go back and look at the film to see, I know quite a bit of them were unforced, and it’s human nature for you to get down and disappointed when those unfortunate things happen.
“But at the end of the day, man, it’s NBA basketball. It’s extremely hard to win in this league, you have to really pour all of yourself into each and every possession or as many as possible. And we’ll figure it out. It’s a lot of time left, but the time is precious.”
And Ham would continue on with this point, adding that the Lakers are disappointed, but have to step up at the end of the day.
“Guys are disappointed. Nobody wants to come out on their home floor and get beat and not play well,” the Lakers coach added. “That’s the other thing, we need guys to play better. We got to attack and be more competitive, but we need it, we need guys to step up and play better. The reason we signed them is because we know what they can do. And so you got to come with that confidence each and every night, and you got to fight through it.
“If the game is not going your way, you can’t ball up in the corner somewhere and go cry about it. You got to step up and try to see how can you best assist your team in being successful. If it’s not the main thing you do, then you go look for something else to do. But all the while your mind has to be focused on moving forward to the game and trying to get better and get stronger as the game gets longer.”
Possible friction between Lakers players and Darvin Ham
As losses continue to pile up and frustration mounts, it was reported a ‘deepening disconnect’ has developed between Lakers players and Ham.
The main issues seem to be the constantly changing lineups and rotations that are preventing players from getting into a rhythm.
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