D’Angelo Russell throws shade at Darvin Ham after Lakers’ Game 4 win

D’Angelo Russell did not hold back on shading Lakers head coach Darvin Ham after Game 4.
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell, Darvin Ham
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell, Darvin Ham / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers avoided a second straight sweep at the hands of the Denver Nuggets with a 119-108 win on Saturday evening. LeBron erupted for 30 points, and Anthony Davis had 25 with 23 rebounds and six dimes. It was the contributions from D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves that pushed LA to victory. D-Lo failed to make a shot in Game 3, but had 21 points and made four triples. Reaves chipped in 21 of his own to help LA win.

There was talk of benching Russell after Game 3. He had his second terrible performance of the series, but head coach Darvin Ham kept the faith. D-Lo has been a key piece for the Lakers this season, and Ham knew he needed him in Game 4. Russell delivered to keep LA’s season alive.

After the game, Ham expressed his confidence in the 6’3 guard, but D-Lo wasn’t having it. He took not one but two opportunities to throw a bit of shade at his head coach.

D’Angelo Russell does not need Darvin Ham’s confidence

The Lakers' lack of depth has been a problem in this series. Ham has stuck with his starting five and bench rotations. Jaxson Hayes did get six minutes in Game 4, which was a welcomed change after their struggles. He believes in his guys, but the head coach’s confidence in D-Lo is not needed, according to Russell.

The Lakers guard did not mention he appreciated Ham’s comments and belief, but it was not necessary. D-Lo always has confidence he will make the next shot. Things did not go his way in Games 1 and 3, but Russell did not back down or lose his confidence. He keeps shooting and believing those jumpers are going in.

D’Angelo Russell takes a second shot at Darvin Ham

Russell took to his Discord after Saturday’s win to share a comment. He noted that “rotations were right” and that his team played hard. Talk about the rotations is always a direct shot at the coach. He is the one determining who plays and when. Clearly, Russell did not think their rotations were on point in other games. The Lakers using Hayes for a bit more size was wise, and D-Lo got 41 minutes in Game 4.

LA cannot hold anything back now. They are one loss away from their season-ending. They need D’Angelo Russell to score 18-plus points every game and give them floor spacing. The defending champions will play their style and try to wear the Lakers down. Darvin Ham must get his rotations right and maximize his team.

The Nuggets are better, but LA can keep winning. It will take a collective effort like they got on Saturday night. Can they get it again in Game 5?

The Los Angeles Lakers will have questions to answer if their season ends with a first-round playoff exit. D-Lo has a player option for next season, which he will likely decline. Does he leave LA? Is Darvin Ham back as head coach? How can the Lakers add more talent? The Lakers hope to put those questions off for a few more days with a Game 5 win in Denver, but the odds are against them.