The Los Angeles Lakers got some much-needed rest during the all-star break and now enter a final stretch of the season where every single game is a must-win. Los Angeles heads into the second half as the 13th seed in the Western Conference.
There is definitely room for the Lakers in the playoffs, though. The team is two games back of making the play-in, three games back of being the seventh seed and 3.5 games back of being the sixth seed. It certainly is possible.
Los Angeles will likely get help from several teams ahead of them falling off down the stretch but the team still needs to take care of business. And if the Lakers are going to take care of business then they need to see some changes from Darvin Ham.
Darvin Ham must make these 3 changes for the Lakers to make the playoffs:
1. Lakers must stop running unnecessarily small lineups
Maybe it is because he is a former point guard himself but Darvin Ham loves to run small lineups. He was essentially forced to do this before the trade deadline as the Lakers were guard-heavy and had very few wings and bigs to actually throw out there.
That is now different after the deadline. The team replaced Russell Westbrook with another point guard in D’Angelo Russell but they also added a sharpshooting wing in Malik Beasley and a two-way forward in Jarred Vanderbilt.
There is a time and a place to go small and Ham should not completely take it out of his repertoire. That being said, it shouldn’t become a habit where he continues to throw Dennis Schroder and Russell out there together. Heck, there have been times when the team has Schroder, Russell and Austin Reaves all on the court.