Compared to Russell Westbrook, Darvin Ham Gets Rescued From Stinging Backlash Over Lakers’ Struggles

Published 12/07/2023, 10:27 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

In 2022, when the Los Angeles Lakers were on a downward trajectory in the middle of the season, fans and the media pointed at Russell Westbrook as one reason behind the team’s struggles. There was not much that Westbrook could do while coming off the bench, but people still attributed his lack of efficiency as a factor in the Lakers not being able to win games.

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This season, the Lakers are getting back on track after a slow start. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are playing well, and the rest of the team has also started contributing adequately. While the team is currently in a good place, the struggles in the early stretch of the season made fans question the credibility of Darvin Ham, the head coach.

Is Darvin Ham the new Russell Westbrook?

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In a recent episode of the LADE show, Lamar Odem was asked what he thought of Lakers head coach Darvin Ham. One of the key reasons the Lakers made it to the playoffs was Darvin Ham’s coaching and his switching the rotations for his team.

Odem said, “Why are they getting on my man, Darvin Ham? He was the man last year.” The co-host, Aron Cohen, pointed out that if the Lakers fail this season, Ham would be the one who is blamed, similar to how Russell Westbrook was last year.

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After the Lakers got off to a slow start for the season, fans were pointing out minor mistakes made by Darvin Ham in matches, from his defensive schemes to even when he was calling timeouts.

 

These are things that are part of the job while being on a team with LeBron James. Everything the teams and the players do is looked at through a microscope. But the Lakers over the past couple of games have significantly improved after Ham made some changes in the rotation.

Odem knows that Ham can lead this team. He was praised by fans when he was doing it last season, but a small stretch of bad games has made the fans go for Ham’s neck. While there are still struggles, the Lakers are slowly figuring things out.

The Lakers are getting back to their stride

Earlier in the season, Austin Reeves was not playing up to his caliber from last season. But recently, he has gotten significantly better and has been relentlessly attacking the basket.

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Some major players on the team, Rui Hachimura, and Jarred Vanderbilt, have missed time this season with injuries. But the Lakers are still winning and even made it to the semi-finals of the in-season tournament.

Shifting Austin Reeves to the bench and bringing Cam Reddish to the starting lineup has worked out for the Lakers and Ham deserves his credit for the work that he is doing on the team.

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What do you think of the Lakers’ early struggles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Written by:

Rijin Varghese

687Articles

One take at a time

I did not follow the traditional route to become a journalist, but my love for basketball and writing has brought me here. Seeing LeBron James? Cleveland Cavaliers make the iconic comeback from a 1-3 deficit in 2016 changed everything for a young engineering aspirant within me. Rather than simply looking at the game, I love to analyze how each player contributes to a team using BPM (Box Plus Minus) and other advanced metrics.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph

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