Lakers News: Darvin Ham Expains Thought Process Of Calling Timeouts When Other Team Is On Run
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their third straight game on Friday night, falling to the Charlotte Hornets 134-130.

L.A.’s defense collapsed against one of the worst offenses in the league. Charlotte scored 40 points in the second quarter and 37 in the fourth to hang on to win. Even though the Lakers shot 43% from deep, it still wasn’t enough to win — a bizarre outcome when you look at the box score of the game.

What stands out though are turnovers and sloppy play. The Lakers turned it over 17 times and gave up 32 points as a result. Charlotte turned it over 16 times but the Lakers only scored 11 times from it.

The Hornets outscored L.A. 21-5 in the first half of the third quarter. Darvin Ham let the Lakers play out most of that run not calling a timeout for over three minutes as Charlotte jumped to a 16-point lead. His reasoning came down to body language.

“Well, I look at the energy. And again, it’s a difference between just competitive mistakes and unforced errors. And I look toward the energy of my team or the players. And that usually dictates it, and if someone is just super duper hot, then yeah, we try to break the rhythm by calling a timeout. And trying to, you know, let the dead period cool someone off, but when it’s just like low energy and non-competitive and that’s when you know you need to take a pause and recalibrate.

“The biggest thing also is you only get seven of them. And so you’re trying to navigate keeping those using them when you need to also try to have an extra one just in case you need to challenge anything in the game situations so and you know we had one left out a good shot. Dennis [Schroder] in the corner bottom corner. Wide-open three. It’s a make-or-miss league; he missed it, and you know they got the game but just try to navigate all that. You can’t have a knee-jerk reaction. You got to give them that while saying all that what I just said. But you also want to say on the flip side of that you have to give your team a chance to rally and to respond in the moment. And we’ve done that several times this season. But you know, to me, it’s a body language thing. It’s an energy thing.”

Ham makes an interesting point about competitive energy. He likely believed that the Lakers were still fighting while Charlotte went on a run, prompting him to decide a timeout was not necessary.

The timeout issue came up during the Lakers’ loss against the Celtics. With players noticeably tired, Ham said he regretted not managing his timeouts well enough and using them either quickly or in certain situations.

Ham unhappy with self-inflicted wounds in Hornets loss

The Lakers beat themselves at times in their loss to the Hornets on Friday and Ham was not happy about it. He said this loss pisses him off a little bit because of the self-inflicted wounds, which included turnovers and not protecting the paint.

“We have to do a much, much better job again of maintaining competitiveness. Closing out teams. Holding to one possession, possession by possession, just holding them the one shot. And when we get the ball being organized, being better organized.”

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