Darvin Ham reached new all-time low in Lakers backbreaking loss to Warriors

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is still searching for the right lineup combinations.
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were dominated by the Golden State Warriors in arguably their biggest game of the season on Tuesday night. LA had a shot to move up in the standings and get out of the dreaded nine versus ten Play-In game. It was also a chance to get one up on the franchise they may face with their season on the line. The Lakers needed a win but never got close.

Anthony Davis was out, but there were plenty of questionable decisions by head coach Darvin Ham to point to in the loss. His game plan was to let the Dubs shoot. This is the team that is fifth in the NBA in 3-point percentage and second in threes made per game. Golden State hit 26 triples and shot 63.4 percent from deep in a loss that could drop the Lakers to tenth in the West.

Beyond the game plan, coach Ham made some baffling lineup decisions. This is not the first time. He was slow to start Rui Hachimura and has struggled to find a consistent group this season. All of their issues were on display in Tuesday’s crucial loss.

Lakers HC Darvin Ham still searching for the best lineups as season winds down

Los Angeles was down by a significant margin for most of the game but cut the lead to five with 3:10 left in the third quarter. They had some momentum when coach Ham pulled LeBron and went with a lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, and Jaxson Hayes to close the stanza. Golden State went on a 10-0 run over the final two minutes to push their edge to 17.

Ham was roasted on social media for the decision. He went with a lineup that had not played together this year, featuring three guards who struggle to defend. It opened the door for the Dubs, and they kicked it down.

Coach Ham had to do a better job of stagger in a crucial game. The Lakers needed LeBron James, Austin Reaves, or Rui Hachimura on the floor during that stretch. They brought back King James and Reaves to start the fourth and went on a 9-0 run, but it was too little too late. The Lakers never fully got back into the game and suffered a brutal loss.

Head coach Darvin Ham has simply not been good enough this season. Yes, he led LA to the conference finals in his first season in charge, but the Lakers cannot keep him around. LeBron turns 40 later this year. They do not have time to waste, and Ham still cannot figure out his lineups and rotations. Blame the injuries if you wish. The Lakers simply need to be better, and it may take a change in coach to get them there.

The Los Angeles Lakers have to win their final two games to avoid slipping to tenth in the standings and going on the road for the first Play-In game. They face the Grizzlies and Pelicans, which are winnable contests. LA needs Ham to be better and AD to get healthy. Do not count on either.