The Los Angeles Lakers have looked like a much different team since the trade deadline and their record is proof of that. Darvin Ham’s squad is 5-2 since acquiring Malik Beasley, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba, and Davon Reed at the deadline.
Coming together as a team with that many new pieces, as well as remaining players adjusting to new roles can be very difficult. But Ham believes everyone within the Lakers organization is on the same page about turning things around, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I just think you have a lot of young guys that’s making their adjustments of being on this stage. And the passion of everyone, not just in the locker room, but everyone up and down the organization, everyone that’s representing the Lakers just passionate about us turning this thing around becoming what we can become and the sky’s the limit for that.”
In terms of the new players specifically, however, Ham values the fact that they are all high-character players who immediately bought into what the Lakers were trying to accomplish:
“In the short term of understanding we all have to pull in the same direction. We got high character guys, not that we didn’t have that before, but right now these guys that we brought in are already bought in. They’re not afraid to have the communication and the conversations about, how can we be a better basketball team, how can we be the best we can be in various scenarios on both sides of the ball.”
Ham would continue on about the mindset of the new Lakers, noting how they understand there’s nothing personal but simply everyone wants to figure out the best way to be successful and nobody wants to be the person to ruin that process:
“You see people passionate, going back and forth sometimes in our business and they have to understand it’s not personal. When everyone is standing for the right principles and the right things, you’re just trying to find a solution. Not your way, not my way, not his way, but the best way of going about things and I just think these guys came in knowing the ups and downs we’ve been going through all year and they see in themselves as a solution.
“Whether it’s Vando or Beas or D-Lo, Davon coming from strong programs in Denver and various places, Mo Bamba just wanting to pitch in being a young player and just continuing the process of establishing themselves. They see what we’re fighting for and what we’re trying to do and they wanna make sure they’re not “that guy” as people like to say, that ruins it all. It’s been pleasant to watch just the dialogue and all of the questions that’s been asked.”
Everyone believing in the overall mission and fighting towards the same goal can lead to great results. The Lakers are in a tough position, still learning how to play together while fighting to make the playoffs. But Darvin Ham has been able to get everyone to buy in, which makes the process much easier than it could be.
Dennis Schroder ‘willing to do everything’ for Lakers to make the playoffs
This team mindset was on display in the Lakers’ victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Without LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell, the team came together to get a huge road win and Dennis Schroder pushed through a painful ankle injury to lead the way.
Schroder led the Lakers with 26 points after turning his ankle in the first quarter and afterward spoke about being willing to do ‘everything for the team’ in the midst of this playoff push. He added that everyone has to chip in, be competitive and play together to make it happen.
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