Lakers News: Darvin Ham Grateful For LeBron James & Anthony Davis’ Health In 2023-24 Season
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lakers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Darvin Ham has seen firsthand how fragile his roster can be as he and the Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with several injuries the past couple of seasons.

Players have been in and out of the lineup, making it difficult for Ham to establish a stable rotation and substitution pattern. Lakers players have missed the sixth-most games due to injury this season with basically all of their rotation players missing at least some time.

However, the Lakers have been fortunate to see LeBron James and Anthony Davis stay relatively healthy during the regular season. Of the Lakers’ 58 games so far, James has been available for 50 of them while Davis has played in 54.

While things haven’t exactly gone great this season, Ham knows things could be worse and expressed how grateful he was that the team’s stars have been able to keep them afloat.

“I think that’s evidence of Bron and AD not really contributing to that ranking (laughs). Just to put it plain and simple,” Ham said of the Lakers being over .500 despite all the games missed they have due to injuries. “Our two big dogs have been available for us for a majority of this season and thank God for them. But having said that, yeah, it’s frustrating because when you don’t have bodies in the lineup, it alters so much from minutes played, the way you set up your rotation, matchups, defensive schemes, everything, what you’re able to do with the intangibles and offensive rebounds, getting deflections. It puts a lot of pressure on your lineup.

“But having said that, I will also say that everyone in that locker room, when they’ve been available, have done a great job with the next man up mentality, fighting with whatever they have to give whether it’s all out or on a minutes restriction when they’re on the floor, they’re really trying to compete at a high level and play the right way. Thus, in spite of all of those circumstances that are beyond our control, we sit where we sit.”

Ham added that he’s not surprised to see James play so much up to this point despite his age.

“Not really. If you see him work, I’ve been able to watch him for years from afar but not really see the details, just what was being reported about the time and resources he spends on his body. But not having been with him for a year, going on two full seasons, you see the work he puts in.

“From the nutrition, the sleeping habits, the way it’s all calculated and planned out through a day, whether it’s a non-game day or a game day. His whole preparatory and recovery process, it’s not surprising at all.”

James made his return against the San Antonio Spurs, and he and Davis have the ability to get Los Angeles to the playoff if they can stay on the floor.

Lakers’ Darvin Ham says Anthony Davis is holding up well physically

Davis has only missed four games for the Lakers so far this season, and Ham said he’s doing well physically despite dealing with various ailments that have had him on the injury report.

“He’s managing it well,” Ham said of Davis’ injuries. “I just saw him and said what’s up to him and he gave me a head nod and a salute. So he’s in a good place mentally, spiritually. Obviously we think things should be better, we want things to be better in terms of our positioning, but we definitely have a fighting chance and we definitely have a huge light at the end of the tunnel, we just got to put it all together and get some bodies back. He’s done a phenomenal job of taking care of himself and making sure he’s playing at an extremely high level on both sides of the ball.”

Davis has been the key for the Lakers all year, so it’s imperative he keeps himself healthy.

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