Head coach Darvin Ham said before the season that Anthony Davis would be the key to the success of the Los Angeles Lakers and that has become even more crucial as LeBron James has been forced to miss some time due to injury.
One major criticism of Davis has been his lack of aggression at times on the court, especially later in games as he tends to settle instead of attacking the rim. But that was certainly not the case against the Brooklyn Nets as he dominated inside much to Ham’s delight.
“That’s been the plan and just trying to figure out how to get him more touches, get him more in a rhythm especially with LeBron not being out there,” Ham said following the Lakers’ 13-point victory. “Just like I’m asking Russ to spearhead that second group coming off the bench, for AD, he has to be the one to spearhead that starting group. And I thought he did that. Everything was aggressive to the rim and I told him ‘don’t settle.’
“It’s two-fold, not only does he get going and is in his comfort zone and his kill zone, but he puts some much pressure on the defense that we had an opportunity to get in the bonus early. It puts pressure on their defense, takes pressure off our guys some when they drive the ball aggressively and are able to get to the free throw line and hopefully get themselves going with their stroke. So he’s been a monster.”
Davis finished with 37 points and 18 rebounds, with 10 of those being offensive against an undersized Nets front line. All but two of his shots came in the paint and the Lakers big man also went to the free throw line seven times, knocking them all down.
Ham was ecstatic to see Davis come through at such a high level and had a ton of praise for him, truly enjoying being able to coach the star big. “All of it. Just his attention to detail in terms of guarding Durant. Him being proactive, wanting the ball, just every time re-calling his own play and I think you saw it tonight, man. It’s been a joy. He’s a great kid to come see every day. Having to call this work should be illegal. He’s been nothing but fun and joy.
“Had a really good conversation with him after our last game, our last loss, and he just said ‘I got your back, Coach.’ That was huge for me being a first-time head coach and having a player of that magnitude be just constantly trying to do everything you ask him to do and try to set that example for his teammates as well. It’s been the same way with Bron and Russ, Pat Bev, all of those guys have really banded together and I think these last 48 hours, I saw them step up vocally and just really their communication level. You see LeBron up on the sidelines coaching up his teammates and all of that. We need all of that. That’s what our culture needs to be about.”
Despite the rough start for this Lakers team, the players as a whole seem to be behind Ham as the head coach and want to win for him. Davis and the rest of the team believe in him and he has shown nothing but belief in this entire roster. Now they just need to execute on the court to pick up some victories.
Darvin Ham focused on Lakers getting better during four-day break
The Lakers have an unexpected four-day break between games right now and Ham has a plan in place for his team. While the Lakers head coach has all of the days planned out, his main focus for the team as a whole is to keep improving and he is encouraged by the recent results of his team.
“But again, focusing on us and how can we get better, look at this film from this game, clips from previous games, do a compare and contrast, and just keep building,” Ham said. “Keep building. We have 69 games left now, there’s more than enough time and what I saw today and based off what the last couple of days have been like, it’s super duper encouraging. I think guys are starting to realize what we can do when we’re all on the same page and pulling in the same direction.”
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