Darvin Ham Diagnoses What Went Wrong For Lakers In Loss To Kings
Darvin Ham, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Things looked great for the Los Angeles Lakers early on against the Sacramento Kings as they led 37-to-18 with under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. But things went downhill after that and head coach Darvin Ham’s team was never quite able to recover.

The Lakers ultimately fell to the Kings 130-120, their sixth loss in the last seven games against their divisional foe. When trying to figure out where things went wrong, Ham pointed to the Lakers allowing their frustration with officiating to take over. “I thought we got out to a great start, took advantage of some turnovers and missed shots by them. We were able to get out and run, defense was good early,” Ham said.

“Our starters did an unbelievable job of setting a good tone early. Then we kind of just had some bad fouls, some bad turnovers, they got a few easy opportunities in transition… We’ve been talking about having a next-play mentality, some things start going against us and just the frustration, I thought with the officiating.

“I’m not blaming the officiating, I thought we allowed that to bother us. And just some breakdowns we had. We had a good film and shootaround this morning, pregame tape on point trying to execute what we set out to do against these guys and early on it was good. But we talk about initiating, sustaining and finishing, the way we want to force our will on the game. And we obviously initiated it, but we didn’t sustain it and we damn sure didn’t finish it.”

When things start going bad, it can begin to quickly snowball and suddenly everything becomes frustrating. As Ham said, he wasn’t blaming the officials, but rather the Lakers reacting to any perceived bad call and letting that take over their minds and get their spirits down.

Ham continued with that point, believing that frustration affected the Lakers ability to respond and fight back, which is something the team has done throughout this season.

“You get frustrated and frustration makes cowards of us all, just like fatigue,” Ham added. “You try to get something back, you start going out on your own or you [get] preoccupied, which is something that you can’t control such as officiating instead of just figuring out how you can make plays, get stops. And a lot of times, just competing harder.

“You can scheme and do whatever all you want to, but there was certain stretches as we were trying to fight our way back in the game, spearheaded by Bron and him exploding in that second half, that third quarter. AR flying around saving balls, doing stuff like that. TP gets a big block at the rim. When we play like that, that physicality, that needs to be our identity. That right there we’ve shown when we play like that, things turn out great for us.”

While there were still moments where the Lakers played the way they are capable of, they simply weren’t able to sustain it past the first quarter and it led to another loss for Darvin Ham’s team.

Darvin Ham discusses defensive struggles containing De’Aaron Fox & Malik Monk

Not only did De’Aaron Fox finish with 44 points, but Malik Monk also added 26 points off the bench, singlehandedly outscoring the entire Lakers reserves. Darvin Ham noted that the Lakers had a plan going into the game but failed to execute it.

“We came out with a plan to force him to his right hand and then to force Malik (Monk) to his left hand but we didn’t do a great job of that in real live game action,” Ham said. “They’re tough, both of those guys can make the shots you’re trying to give up, those tough 2s.

“And then the times we did force a miss, Sabonis was able to get active. AD is contesting, but we didn’t have anyone come over to get a hit on Sabonis so they were able to collect some timely offensive rebounds. We just got to get better from it.

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