Darvin Ham quote makes him look even more foolish after Lakers lineup change

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are not playing like a team that can contend for the NBA Championship and the main person to blame might be head coach Darvin Ham. After winning the NBA In-Season Tournament, the Lakers' honeymoon phase has ended and Ham's shortcomings have been on full display.

Ham has been unable to find a consistent rotation and has made questionable decisions that have put his players in a position to fail. In October and November, there was at least some excuse, as Ham had to figure out what exactly he had to hone in on a good rotation. As the calendar prepares to turn to 2024, there are no more excuses.

Ham has been bad this season and his latest lineup decision really ticked off the fanbase. Ham decided to relegate D'Angelo Russell to the bench unit (along with Austin Reaves) in favor of starting Jarred Vanderbilt. This gives the Lakers a starting five with more rebounding and defensive potential, but also doesn't really have a good scoring option outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Reddish, Vanderbilt, and the struggling Taurean Prince are all in the starting five together.

Lakers fans are already getting fed up with Ham and yet the head coach is managing to make himself look even more foolish. Following the team's loss to the Boston Celtics, Ham had the audacity to criticize Reddish and Vanderbilt after the lineup change that he made and nobody else wanted (via Jovan Buha, The Athletic).

"If they're trying to play off, Cam's got to step up shooting with confidence or eat up that space on the drive. Collapse the defense once he touches the paint and try to find open man. Same thing for Vando. The ball hits him, you just can't hold it and be confused. You just gotta move on to the next thing, whether it's a pitch ahead and hit to its teammates, (dribble handoff), or shot goes off, go hunt down off an offensive rebound, get us some extra possessions."

Darvin Ham looks even more foolish after quote about new Lakers lineup

Here is an idea, Darvin Ham: maybe don't start two guys who do not complement each other? What you are saying about them is fair, but the entire reason why it is not working is that you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Ham's coaching decisions this season have been mind-boggling, to say the least. Players like Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell have gotten relegated and have short leashes on the team; to be fair, sometimes it is deserved as those two have defensive holes that can hurt the team.

But in the very same breath, Ham has not given up on Prince despite him being a new face that has been bad this season. Rui Hachimura cannot carve out a consistent role in the rotation, while Reddish can get minutes over him because he is a marginally better defender without any of the offensive potential.

Ham coaches this team like it is only played on the defensive end. Defense is very important, we all know that, but you have to play complementary basketball. You cannot just surround LeBron and AD with three defenders who can't create anything offensively and expect it to work. LeBron and AD won't be able to keep bailing Ham out of jail with all of his questionable lineup and rotation decisions.

At this rate, it wouldn't be surprising if Ham does not last the entire season with the Lakers. A 16-15 record at this point in the season is salvageable, but if this team somehow falls under .500 after the halfway mark, the front office may have no other choice than to move on.

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