Darvin Ham Emphasizes Need For Lakers To Do ‘Little Things’ And ‘Keep It Simple’
Darvin Ham, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers got back on track with a home win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, although head coach Darvin Ham wasn’t exactly left encouraged after the performance.

It’s no secret that the Spurs are one of the worst teams in the league at 11-46, but they were able to keep up with the Lakers for a majority of the night before Ham’s team pulled away late.

“Coming out of the All-Star break, everything is a little topsy-turvy. Guys are still trying to get back in rhythm to where we were beforehand,” Ham said after the win.

While the Lakers led for a majority of the night, they had some self-inflicted wounds that prevented it from being a blowout. Regardless of the opponent they’re facing, Ham wants his team to focus on ways they can be better.

“I just told them after the game that it’s not so much who your specific opponent is, no disrespect to the other 29 teams,” Ham said. “But a lot of times, even though we’re missing guys in the lineup, we have to step up and try to be the best versions of ourselves with what we have available to us, active guys on the roster. Each possession trying to figure it out together, in rhythm, in unison, defensively and offensively.

“It’s tough to win in this league and we’re totally thankful and grateful to be able to come out on top in this one, but again, it’s not just looking at who’s standing there in front of you, it’s also looking at yourself trying to see different ways you can get better and correct whatever mistakes that were made the last go around, the last game or whatever, or last possession, and try to sustain the good things you’re doing.”

Ham went on to elaborate on what exactly he was unhappy with in the win.

“I just think it’s a coach’s thing,” Ham said. “You want your team to constantly look within and try to make plays and force the other team to put you in uncomfortable positions and not you putting yourself in those uncomfortable positions. Whether it’s not sprinting back in transition or allowing teams to get two or three offensive rebounds or fouling because we’re not in position, we’re not doing our work early. Then going down on the other end and not trusting the execution.

“I know we got a bunch of weapons, but they’re useless if we don’t do the little things like sprinting hard when we get the ball in transition, not turning it over, maintaining spacing, making sure we get hits on screens to create an advantage and making the simple, easy play. To put it in detail, that’s what I’m talking about.”

Darvin Ham wants Lakers to keep it simple

Things like turnovers, rebounding, etc. plagued the Lakers, which has been a theme this season. Ham stressed that sometimes making the simple play is the best one.

“Give them credit, they had some guys that hit some shots. They continued to play hard and fast, I told the guys before the game that whether you’re up 20, down 20, down five, up five, doesn’t matter. Their effort is not gonna change, and you saw that throughout,” Ham said of the young Spurs.

“But us also mishandling passes, the ball movement kind of slowed down a little bit. We got guys that are highly skilled and sometimes the home run play is not quite the play to make. We just keep it simple, I’m telling you, we’ll be off the charts with our execution and with our ability to get stops defensively.”

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