Darvin Ham's coaching malpractice was on full display in Lakers' win over Wizards

Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night but it was not pretty. As one of the worst teams in the entire league, the Wizards should have been a relatively easy team to beat while the Lakers are looking to make a surge before the playoffs.

Instead, the Lakers had to give the entire fanbase a scare by allowing the Wizards to hang in the game and only lose by five. With the Lakers now just one game back of the Sacramento Kings for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, a loss would have been devastating (although it doesn't seem like LeBron James would've cared much).

There is a pretty simple explanation for why this game was as close as it was and it is the same reason for all of the team's previous struggles this season. It all boils down to head coach Darvin Ham as once again, he put together a poor coaching performance in a game that should have been a cakewalk.

Ham let the Wizards get back in the game late in the fourth quarter by prematurely pulling the starters and not keeping the foot on the gas to secure the win. This is not the worst part of the fourth quarter, though, as Anthony Davis and LeBron James had to check themselves back into the game to make sure that this didn't get out of hand.

Darvin Ham doesn't even seem like he is a real head coach for the Lakers

It is never a good sign when two star players have to override the coach and make lineup decisions before he could even think of making. While Lakers fans should be glad that AD and LeBron had a "fine, I'll do it myself" attitude, it is jarring that it even got to this point.

This is not the first time fans have seen this exact example happen this season. LeBron recently admitted that he had to override Ham's defensive coaching instructions against the Los Angeles Clippers because he knew what Ty Lue was going to run and how to counter it.

If LeBron and AD are calling the shots, and Ham has struggled with lineups and rotations, then what is even the point in having him around? It almost feels as if the Lakers are winning in spite of Ham, which is never a great position to be in as a head coach.

Wednesday's game certainly felt that way and if the Lake Show is going to make a run at the NBA Finals then the team will need to keep winning in spite of Ham. If not, the season may end sooner than expected.