Incorporating 9x All-Star into the system alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, one of newly appointed LA Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s most important directives
The LA Lakers have hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham to replace Frank Vogel as the team’s new head coach. Ham signed a four-year contract to return to Los Angeles, where he worked as an assistant coach between 2011 and 2013.
According to NBA rumors, the LA Lakers had asked all of their candidates how they would use Russell Westbrook in their system. They are considering the possibility of reviving it with their current roster under a new head coach.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, incorporating Westbrook into the system alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis is one of Darvin Ham’s most important directives.
“Ham will be tasked with getting the Lakers back to the playoffs after a disastrous 33-49 season that cost Frank Vogel his job,” Wojnarowski wrote. “One of Ham’s most important directives: finding a way to fit future Hall of Fame guard Russell Westbrook into the franchise with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It was a big topic of every interview. coaching the Lakers in the process, sources said.”
Can the LA Lakers make it work with Russell Westbrook under new head coach Darvin Ham?
Darvin Ham joins the LA Lakers in a tight spot this offseason. The team lacks the resources to revamp the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and their current roster doesn’t have the best balance. LA still has some of the biggest names, though.
James, Davis and Westbrook never played together for a period, which hampered Los Angeles’ chances of challenging for the top spot in the Western Conference. On top of that, Frank Vogel and his team struggled to fit Westbrook into his system.
This is where Darvin Ham can step in and find a way to help Westbrook play effectively. The former Bucks assistant coach has experience coaching star players and is also known for his direct approach and tenacity.
Meanwhile, Westbrook’s performance improved towards the end of the season. He averaged 22.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, shooting an impressive 52% from the field, including 41.5% from 3-point range in his last ten appearances in championship.
His turnovers were also drastically reduced to around three per game. If the LA Lakers can find younger players to surround their big three, they certainly have the potential to be legitimate contenders, especially with LeBron James still firing on all cylinders.