Darvin Ham: Lakers Took ‘Huge Step Backwards’ In Defensive Rebounding Vs. Magic

Originally published by LakersNation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their third consecutive road game to start the season on Saturday night, falling to the Orlando Magic 120-101. The primary reason for the loss was an obvious one, and one that has plagued Darvin Ham’s team all year long – rebounding.

The Lakers struggled to clear the defensive glass all season long and the Magic took complete advantage of that even while missing starting center Wendell Carter Jr. The team gave up 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 36 second chance points.

It is something that is a known issue for the Lakers and after the loss, Ham called the team’s performance on the glass a step back, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“It’s just their effort, their energy. They’re down bodies, we’re down bodies, and so the game basically comes down to approach, mental approach… They outworked us and I think because of that energy and effort, they saw the ball go in. They did a great job of just playing fast continuously, covering for one another defensively and just pounding us on the glass. It’s a huge, huge step backwards for us in terms of our defensive rebounding. We came into the year really highlighting those two areas of our game – transition defense and defensive rebounding. Tonight, transition was under control for the most part, later on in the game they add on some production in that statline. But the main thing all night was those guys getting second or third opportunities for themselves and us not boxing out, not getting hits, not coming up with 50-50 balls, and also turning the ball over. But we won’t put a baby out with the bath water, it’s six games in. It’s a great lesson and we’ll definitely aim to fix that. So we have 76 left and we just got to wipe ourselves off and get ready for another tough one in Miami on Monday.”

Ham would continue on, noting that there isn’t some schematic solution to the Lakers’ rebounding issues, they just have to want it more:

“At the end of the day, you got to come out and play with effort. Energy and effort. You can’t coach effort. You got to have that, it’s got to be in your brain. Whatever is going on, when you get to the gym, you got to be locked in on the mission at hand. And we just didn’t have it today… You can’t scheme rebounding. You got to want to go get the damn ball, plain and simple. The shot goes up, if your opponent is in your area, you got to get hits, put bodies on bodies and be the most aggressive one to the ball. That’s it. There’s no play I can draw up to get more rebounds. There’s no play I can draw up to have more guys there and when we do have guys there, we’re showing clips with four or five white jerseys and one blue jersey in the middle and that blue jersey in coming up with the ball. I don’t know. Again, it’s something we got to continuously work at and acknowledge when we do a good job and when we do a poor job. Last game, we did a pretty good job of that. We had three guys in double-digit rebounds. But tonight it just wasn’t there.”

Whatever the solution is, Ham and the Lakers need to figure it out soon as it has continually cost them games early on this season. The Lakers shot around the same percentage from the field as Orlando, but the Magic had 17 more shot attempts than the Lakers in this contest thanks to their failures to clear the glass, not to mention turnovers.

Perhaps more size on the court would help, but it is also about that will and desire to finish off these defensive possessions and the Lakers simply haven’t shown that consistently this year. If they continue down this path they will struggle to win consistently so Ham and the Lakers’ coaching staff need to figure out how get past this weakness.

Darvin Ham talks how much Lakers miss Jarred Vanderbilt

Something that would help Ham and the Lakers is getting healthy and Jarred Vanderbilt not having suited up yet in the regular season is something that has hurt the team overall. Ham recently spoke about what Vanderbilt brings to the table and how much the Lakers miss it.

“Obviously Vando, his ability to bring energy to that side of the ball, his ability to guard multiple positions, to rebound, to get steals, blocks definitely [is missed],” the Lakers coach added. “Those are big shoes to fill in terms of the team’s point of attack.”

There is no doubt that Vanderbilt would make a difference, and when he does return hopefully some things begin to turn around.

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The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their third consecutive road game to start the season on Saturday night, falling to the Orlando Magic 120-101. The primary reason for the loss was an obvious one, and one that has plagued Darvin Ham’s team all year long – rebounding.

The Lakers struggled to clear the defensive glass all season long and the Magic took complete advantage of that even while missing starting center Wendell Carter Jr. The team gave up 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 36 second chance points.

It is something that is a known issue for the Lakers and after the loss, Ham called the team’s performance on the glass a step back, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“It’s just their effort, their energy. They’re down bodies, we’re down bodies, and so the game basically comes down to approach, mental approach… They outworked us and I think because of that energy and effort, they saw the ball go in. They did a great job of just playing fast continuously, covering for one another defensively and just pounding us on the glass. It’s a huge, huge step backwards for us in terms of our defensive rebounding. We came into the year really highlighting those two areas of our game – transition defense and defensive rebounding. Tonight, transition was under control for the most part, later on in the game they add on some production in that statline. But the main thing all night was those guys getting second or third opportunities for themselves and us not boxing out, not getting hits, not coming up with 50-50 balls, and also turning the ball over. But we won’t put a baby out with the bath water, it’s six games in. It’s a great lesson and we’ll definitely aim to fix that. So we have 76 left and we just got to wipe ourselves off and get ready for another tough one in Miami on Monday.”

Ham would continue on, noting that there isn’t some schematic solution to the Lakers’ rebounding issues, they just have to want it more:

“At the end of the day, you got to come out and play with effort. Energy and effort. You can’t coach effort. You got to have that, it’s got to be in your brain. Whatever is going on, when you get to the gym, you got to be locked in on the mission at hand. And we just didn’t have it today… You can’t scheme rebounding. You got to want to go get the damn ball, plain and simple. The shot goes up, if your opponent is in your area, you got to get hits, put bodies on bodies and be the most aggressive one to the ball. That’s it. There’s no play I can draw up to get more rebounds. There’s no play I can draw up to have more guys there and when we do have guys there, we’re showing clips with four or five white jerseys and one blue jersey in the middle and that blue jersey in coming up with the ball. I don’t know. Again, it’s something we got to continuously work at and acknowledge when we do a good job and when we do a poor job. Last game, we did a pretty good job of that. We had three guys in double-digit rebounds. But tonight it just wasn’t there.”

Whatever the solution is, Ham and the Lakers need to figure it out soon as it has continually cost them games early on this season. The Lakers shot around the same percentage from the field as Orlando, but the Magic had 17 more shot attempts than the Lakers in this contest thanks to their failures to clear the glass, not to mention turnovers.

Perhaps more size on the court would help, but it is also about that will and desire to finish off these defensive possessions and the Lakers simply haven’t shown that consistently this year. If they continue down this path they will struggle to win consistently so Ham and the Lakers’ coaching staff need to figure out how get past this weakness.

Darvin Ham talks how much Lakers miss Jarred Vanderbilt

Something that would help Ham and the Lakers is getting healthy and Jarred Vanderbilt not having suited up yet in the regular season is something that has hurt the team overall. Ham recently spoke about what Vanderbilt brings to the table and how much the Lakers miss it.

“Obviously Vando, his ability to bring energy to that side of the ball, his ability to guard multiple positions, to rebound, to get steals, blocks definitely [is missed],” the Lakers coach added. “Those are big shoes to fill in terms of the team’s point of attack.”

There is no doubt that Vanderbilt would make a difference, and when he does return hopefully some things begin to turn around.

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