Darvin Ham’s Lakers prepare to secure a spot

0 20

Darvin Ham insists that the Lakers are all focused on avoiding the play-in tournament.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham opened has stated his team’s stretch of the season after the All-Star break by stating Los Angeles’ goal loud and clear: The Lakers don’t want to just make the playoffs, they want to avoid the play-in tournament.

“The goal is for us to come out and try to be the best version of ourselves each game, but definitely, if we can go and secure a spot, that is our goal right there,” Ham said. “If we fall into a play-in situation, so be it. But our No. 1 goal is to go secure a spot, not just throw games off here or there [and] just wish for a play-in. We want to go secure a spot.”

The Lakers, are currently 13th in the Western Conference — 2.0 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 10th seed and 3½ games behind the Dallas Mavericks for No. 6.

In its last game before the break, L.A. controlled the New Orleans Pelicans from the opening tip and won 120-102, excelling on both ends.

Still, time is not on the Lakers’ side, and it’s a major aspiration for a team that was completely overhauled leading up to the trade deadline. They’re still so new that they have yet to have a full practice with every player available to participate, as LeBron James was given Wednesday off after reporting to Salt Lake City over the weekend as the franchise’s lone All-Star representative other than two-way player Scotty Pippen Jr., who played in the Rising Stars game.

There are 23 games remaining in the schedule, which James already called 23 of the “most important games” of his career, but L.A.’s hopes of securing the No. 6 seed could be determined by how the Lakers fare in the first seven games after the break.

They host the No. 9 Golden State Warriors on Thursday, followed by a three-game road trip against Dallas (No. 6), the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 2) and Oklahoma (No. 10). Their next three home games after that are against the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 8), Golden State and Memphis.

They’re all games that essentially count as double, as L.A. can gain a win and hand a loss to a team ahead of it in the standings in each case. But losing any of them will be that much more costly, too.

“I mean we have to help ourselves first and foremost, and we only do that by winning games,” Ham said. “We’ve already put ourselves behind the eight ball enough, we don’t want to get into a further situation where we’re depending on teams in front of us to lose games and all the while we’re dropping games. So winning is the focus. And it’s the only way we can help ourselves and take care of what we can control.”



Follow us on all social media platform, @Sportscliffs on Twitter and Instagram and also like our facebook page




Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Pin It on Pinterest