The Los Angeles Lakers A new era is entering under the leadership of newly appointed coach Darvin Hamm. On Monday, they are officially Pork served at a press conference Where he shared his thoughts on his plan for the team heading into next season. Hamm touched on how he envisions the Lakers finding their identity on the defensive side of the ball, how he sees Russell Westbrook’s fit in the team next season, and the expectations he has for Anthony Davis.
Here are some of the highlights from an important press conference.
1. A strong obligation to defend
If you watched the Lakers last season, you know that they struggled hard on the defensive side of the ball. A year after finishing with the league’s best defense, Los Angeles faltered in 21st place in the 2021-22 season, struggling to stop anyone from scoring on them. Prior to this season, the Lakers had ranked in the top five defense for two years in a row, so this season’s complete slump has been a disappointment.
Some of that takedown is about personnel, but that’s not a good enough reason for the defense to hand 138 points to the Houston Rockets The offense ranked 26th in the league this year. During Monday’s press conference, Hamm noted talking frequently about how he plans to renew the Los Angeles offensive next season.
“Defensively, that’s where you’ll see us making our biggest leaps,” Hamm said. “We have to stick to the defensive side of the ball, otherwise we won’t have a chance to do anything. Attacking won’t matter even if we don’t get stopping points.”
Hamm also touched on accountability on the defensive side of the ball for everyone on the list, from LeBron James down to the last man on the spin.
“My goal is to continue to develop our young players and make these players comfortable,” Hamm said. “Everything has to be a team effort. If there are mistakes I have to be able to train [James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook] Just like I do the rest of the list. We have a saying, “facts over feelings”. Once you have seen the movie and the fact that you have missed your assignment, this should be pointed out. If I can’t point that out to one of our top 3 players, the last guy or person in our rotation won’t take what we’re doing seriously. It has to be consistent across the board.”
2. Westbrook fits into the team
Westbrook’s first season with the Lakers was disappointing to say the least. He’s struggled to adjust to a new role alongside LeBron, and this has led to a great deal of criticism – some worthy, some not! From everyone outside looking in. This led to rumors about his status with the team heading into next season, but at the moment he is still with the Lakers. Hamm emphasized Westbrook – who was present at the press conference – and his illustrious career in the league, while detailing a few small details about the conversations they’ve had since his appointment.
“Don’t let it screw up, Russell is one of the best players our league has ever seen, and there is still a lot in this tank,” Hamm said. “I don’t know why people tend to try to delete it… Ross and I had some really great conversations between two people, and the biggest word that came out of those discussions was sacrifice. We’re going to sacrifice whatever we have to do, not just Ross.” There will be sacrifices LeBron will have to make, and AD will have to make, along the way in the rest of the list.”
Hamm also touched on what kind of role he envisions Westbrook playing next season. Despite being asked about the possibility of Westbrook coming off the bench, Hamm did a good job avoiding that specific question.
“In terms of what his role will be, I would expect him to be the same stubborn, high-energy player he has been throughout his career,” Hamm said. “A lot of that could happen now without the ball in his hands, and most of it could happen now on the defensive side. But again, we have to sacrifice. There is nothing to achieve without all parties sharing the burden and sacrifice and dependence on one another.”
3. Anthony Davis is at the center of it all
It’s been a bearish year across the board for the Lakers, and Davis’ season has definitely been a part of that. It wasn’t that m had a special bad In the season, he’s still been a scoring and rebounding force, while being influential on the defensive end. However, he only played 40 matches, after dropping out of a season that only suited him 36 matches. Since the Lakers won a championship in 2020, Davis’ health has been a concern. While Hamm couldn’t control Davis’ injury, he realized how critical his productions were to the success of Los Angeles.
“We’ve all seen what can happen when he’s healthy, when he’s playing at a high level, when he’s in good rhythm,” Hamm said. “We saw it in the bubble. His skills, his size, his versatility, his defensive acumen, his strength. His ability to make multiple defensive efforts is key. He will be the basis of the kind of standard we set in the era of Darphin significant.”
“…LeBron is going to be LeBron, Ross is going to be Ross, but we need consistency from Anthony Davis. We need him to be healthy, we want him to be in a good mental space, we want him to be as consistent as possible, back to playing basketball-type Championship”.
When Davis is healthy, he has the potential to play as one of the best players in the league. The problem is that Alzheimer’s is not always healthy, and sometimes when there is a tendency to be ineffective in the attack. There is also the debate about what position he should play. Although Davis has primarily played forward for most of his career, his last two seasons in Los Angeles have made it clear that he should be the starting center for the team. Not because he can’t play the power forward, because he’s fully capable and was an All-Star in that position, but because the Lakers don’t have a quality position to stick with Davis for that to make sense.
Last season Dwight Howard and Dunder Jordan would fit in alongside him in the starting line-up, two players who are no longer close to the starting position in this league. If Los Angeles has someone this summer who could be a serviceable staging post, putting AD in power makes sense. But if not, Davis should be the primary center of the team, and Hamm noted that the system he plans to deploy will necessitate Davis at the center.
“It starts from the defensive side, and from there we will go back again towards the attack,” Hamm said. “I think the kind of spacing, in one four-sided style, that I’m going to implement, will help all parties.”
Playing this type of attack, which will have four players in the periphery and a post-player in the paint, will give Davis space to work from the midrange, making decisions off the post. Sounds like a great plan, we just have to see if Hamm and the Lakers can do it well next season.
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