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Darvin Ham Frustrated At Criticism Over Rotation & Lineup Changes

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Darvin Ham Frustrated At Criticism Over Rotation & Lineup Changes

Darvin Ham, Lakers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One constant criticism this season about Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham was the constant changes to his lineups and rotations. The Lakers had 19 different starting lineups this season and of course injuries played a role in that, but some of the decisions Ham made still came under a lot of scrutiny.

Once the Lakers settled on the lineup of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, things fell into place. But well before that happened, players such as Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish had long stints as starters as well, and there seemed to be no consistency in terms of who would be getting minutes off the bench.

But Ham feels that was namely due to those injuries and constantly having players in and out of the lineup. The Lakers coach admitted that it has been frustrating that some have seemingly ignored the injury issues the team faced this season, while also taking a shot at some players for their poor play that forced lineup changes, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“It’s been extremely challenging,” Ham said. “Everyone that’s been in and out of the lineup. Being criticized for not having a consistent rotation when I don’t have consistent healthy bodies. The thing that frustrates me, and I love this job, I love the pressure that comes with it, I’ve always been calm in the midst of chaos … [But] common sense tends to go out the window when you talk about my job in particular.

“It’s amazing how people just skip that core part of having a consistency with your lineup is all predicated on health and performance. If you’re coaching a team and one of your starters is like 10 games in a row, just s—ting the bed, what are you going to do?”

Major injuries to Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish undoubtedly made things more difficult for Ham as he is right in that it’s difficult to have a consistent rotation when players are in and out of the lineup. However, every player in the starting lineup that had the most success played in at least 68 games this season so it was possible for him to go to that group earlier in the season.

It’s an extremely difficult job to be a head coach, especially for a Lakers team that has this much attention and scrutiny. Ham should be expected to defend the decisions he made, but unfortunately the end result was an early and disappointing end to the season with him and players now playing the blame game and taking shots at each other.

Michael Malone believes Darvin Ham deserves to remain Lakers head coach

If the rumors are to be believed, Darvin Ham may have coached his last game as head of the Lakers. And if that were the case, it would be disappointing to Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone who feels Ham deserves to be the coach of this team.

“I would be remiss, I think Darvin Ham is a hell of a coach,” Malone said after the Nuggets eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs. “That’s not an easy job. I think Darvin does it with class and I think he and his staff deserve credit for that. He’s a good man, good coach, and I wish him all the best. Hopefully, he’ll be around there for a long time because he deserves to be.”

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