Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is officially halfway through his first season in charge of an NBA team and considering the Lakers’ horrific start to the season, things could be much worse at the midpoint. Following Monday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers sit at 19-22, currently outside of the playoffs but only 1.5 games out of the sixth seed in the West.
The team has certainly had its ups and downs and injuries continue to hamper the roster, but Ham has been encouraged by the team’s recent play and the growth he has seen. Overall, despite some losses that should have been wins, Ham believes the Lakers are trending in the right direction, via NBA.com:
“I think everything that, a lot of our low points don’t get me wrong we’ve played some hellafied teams and been in some gut-wrenching games. But a lot of what our record is, 19-22 I believe, is a lot of self-inflicted. I can immediately ring off about six or seven games that could’ve went our way, that didn’t. So it’s the process of constantly trying to sustain what you’re doing well.
“I think our competitive edge, the way we lock down and defend at different moments. Our togetherness, the way we share the ball in different moments. Our accountability, guys understanding if it’s a breakdown, why the defense broke down or why we didn’t get a good look on a particular offensive possession, and acknowledging it and trying to do better. So based on those facts I’d say we’re trending in a great direction. We just gotta keep stacking. Again, what happened behind us, it’s behind us, but we have to remember it in order to sustain ourselves in the moment and constantly try to get better going towards the future.”
There are definitely some games that really stand out as ones the Lakers should have put away. The early loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the buzzer-beater from the Indiana Pacers and overtime losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics come to mind immediately as games that could have been won. But the team has shown signs of growth even despite losing players to injury.
The Lakers have shown that they can hang with some of the best teams the NBA has to offer with wins over the likes of the Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks, and many of the role players have stepped up in a big way. If the Lakers are able to get healthy and the front office makes a move or two, there is a chance that Ham can push this team to a higher level.
Anthony Davis beginning ramp-up process to return from foot injury
One of the biggest keys to the Lakers making a playoff push is the return of Anthony Davis, who has been out with a foot issue. Thankfully, the Lakers’ superstar center has been progressing very well and is set to start ramping things up.
The latest reports note that the pain continues to subside and there is optimism within the organization that Davis could be back within the next couple of weeks.
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