May 19, 2024

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Darvin Hamm is frustrated with criticism over rotation and lineup changes

Darvin Hamm is frustrated with criticism over rotation and lineup changes
Darvin Hamm, Lakers

Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports

One of the constant criticisms this season of Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Hamm has been the constant changes to his lineup and rotations. The Lakers have had 19 different starting lineups this season and of course injuries have played a role in that, but some of the decisions Hamm has made are still subject to a lot of scrutiny.

Once the Lakers settled on a lineup of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Austin Reeves, D'Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura, things fell into place. But long before that happened, there were players like Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish who played extended stints in the starting lineup as well, and there seemed to be no consistency as to who would get minutes off the bench.

But Hamm feels it was due to those injuries and the continued presence of players in and out of the lineup. The Lakers coach admitted that it was frustrating that some seemed to ignore the injury issues the team faced this season, while also criticizing some players for their poor play that forced them to change lineups, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

“It was very difficult,” Hamm said. “Everyone who's been in and out of the lineup. Being criticized for not having a consistent rotation when I don't have consistent healthy bodies. The thing that frustrates me, and I love this job, I love the pressure that comes with it, I've always been calm in the middle of chaos… [But] Common sense tends to go out the window when you're talking about my job in particular.

“It's amazing how people get past that basic part of consistency with your lineup, and it's all based on health and performance. If you're coaching a team and one of your starters is like 10 games in a row, just sitting on the bed, what are you going to do?

The major injuries to Gabe Vincent, Jared Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish have undoubtedly made things more difficult for Hamm because he is right that it is difficult to have a consistent rotation when players are in and out of the lineup. However, every player in the starting lineup who has had the most success has played in at least 68 games this season, so it was possible for him to go into that group earlier in the season.

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It's a very difficult job to be a head coach, especially for a Lakers team that receives this much attention and scrutiny. Hamm would be expected to defend the decisions he made, but unfortunately the end result has been an early and disappointing end to the season with him and the players now playing the blame game and firing at each other.

Michael Malone believes Darvin Hamm deserves to remain head coach of the Lakers

If rumors are to be believed, Darvin Hamm may have coached his final game as head of the Lakers. If so, it will be disappointing for Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who feels that Hamm deserves to be the coach of this team.

“I would be remiss, I think Darvin Hamm is a hell of a coach,” Malone said after the Nuggets eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs. “This is not an easy task. I think Darvin does that with class and I think he and his staff deserve credit for that. He's a good guy and a good coach and I wish him all the best. I hope he stays there for a long time because he deserves it.”

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