It was an opportunity, once again, to build credibility – the challenge every coach faces with his team. It was a calculated opportunity to use the team’s past successes to shape the team’s present and future.
“When you have men who have achieved what he has achieved in his solo career, some of the great teams he has been in, whether it’s the Lakers or the Spain national team, as much as the great Tottenham teams, to come in, the words he’s shared are the words they hear us say every day,” Hamm said. Rivalry, embracing adversity, being together, communicating – like all these are words we use with our men every day. Some of them are about who we want to be and what we want to be back.
“So it’s just assuring these guys that we’re not crazy out of our minds.”
Combined with an important decision to use Russell Westbrook as the Lakers’ sixth man, his internal credibility must be very high despite the team’s 1-5 record.
It bodes well for effort and defensive execution, and so far the Lakers are second on this side of the ball, allowing for 104.7 points per 100 possessions. The only other team in the top 10 defensively with a losing record is the Clippers.
While they’re by no means an offensive force, the improvement in the last two games coupled with an easier schedule ahead are cause for some cautious optimism – starting with Westbrook’s embrace of his new role.
“Just being in the position, the right position,” he said of what he noticed. “When I am in the position to help my teammates and make them better, it is beneficial to everyone in my opinion. My job is to find ways to continue to improve the team, whatever it may be. [that’s] That night needed, whether it was passing, scoring, rebounding, defending. I’m someone who prides myself on doing everything every night. And I want it to have this flowing effect on the men I’m on earth with.”
Hamm said the team’s defense was ahead of its attack not only predictable but probably guaranteed given his plan and schedule.
“The most important thing I wanted to attack first was to defend because that’s the best way to show your competitive nature, is to go out and get stopping points and make it difficult for teams to attack, score and so on,” Hamm said. “I thought our schedule was really tough. … It was something. But I am very happy with the way we defended those teams. These are really high caliber offensive teams and we defended them really well.
“…I didn’t like it being 0-5 but I got it… Our attack would catch up to our defence. Ross gave us a big push, a massive push off the bench. What I expected would be the same. So I think we’re right where we want to be. “.
If Gasol says the Lakers the same thing, all the better.
Hamm said Anthony Davis is feeling some fallout from playing through back pain late in the team’s win on Sunday. It will be called into question on Wednesday against New Orleans.
“It feels good,” Hamm said. “We’re turning his back. It will be listed as questionable for tomorrow. But I just saw him come in today, get his treatment, get his work done, do his exercises, just relax. He will be ready to set off tomorrow in the crossfire.”
Dennis Schroeder, who hasn’t played this season after pre-season thumb surgery, did a solo action on the field with a brace on his thumb. It will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
against. New Orleans
When: 7:30 pm Wednesday
on air: Television: Spectrum SportsNet; Radio: 710, 1330
Modernization: The Lakers may play more freely now that the team’s five-game winning streak has stalled. Strikers LeBron James and Juan Toscano Anderson are likely, but Anthony Davis is a suspect due to his ongoing back problems. The New Orleans Pelicans stand in the way of their first team’s winning streak. Zion Williamson is back on the court for the Pelicans, who are still without former Laker Brandon Ingram due to a concussion.