Some are calling it the game of the year. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 145-144 in double overtime thanks to two clutch free throws from LeBron James. NBA fans watched true history unfold, as two all-time greats in LeBron and Stephen Curry combined for 82 points in the contest.
This was not an ordinary January basketball game and Lakers fans are hoping it can be a launching point for the rest of the season. A huge win like this can help right the ship as the Lakers have struggled to maintain a .500 record despite getting mostly healthy LeBron and Anthony Davis seasons.
Head coach Darvin Ham has become the biggest culprit for the team's struggles as his lineups and rotations have felt out of touch. Fans are not the only ones who seemingly feel this way, though, as LeBron send a pretty loud and clear message to Ham after the game with his comments about which Lakers lineup works best.
LeBron James sends obvious message to Darvin Ham about Lakers lineup
As we all know very well, LeBron is very intentional with the things he says to the media and this is another example of that. LeBron is simply echoing the fanbase, which has waited for Ham to go back to last year's starting five that led the team to the Western Conference Finals.
Ham teased going back to this lineup earlier this season but ultimately went with Taurean Prince in the starting five. Prince started Saturday's win over the Warriors but there was a noticeable difference in how Ham managed his minutes.
Ham actually held Prince accountable for his poor play (and let me tell you, it was very poor) and only played him 24 minutes in the game. Meanwhile, Jarred Vanderbilt got 41 minutes after averaging just 19.6 prior to Saturday night.
It has been abundantly clear to the fanbase that Prince has been overused and LeBron is only confirming this hypothesis. The Lakers are better with Vando on the floor and Prince on the bench; just look at the difference in Saturday's plus/minus. Prince finished as a -22, Vanderbilt finished as a +30.
Ham has been stuck in his ways thus far this season and hopefully these comments from LeBron amount to some kind of pressure on the head coach to make the obvious change that is needed.
The Lakers take on the Rockets tonight and FanDuel Sportsbook has a $200 bonus available for new users! Sign up, deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on the Lakers right now and you'll receive $200 in bonus bets if they win! Sign up for FanDuel now!