Darvin Ham Issues Statement on Rui Hachimura After Lakers Lose to Rockets

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a crucial postseason push. After an ugly beginning to the year, the Lakers made a ton of moves at the trade deadline, bolstering their chances to make a serious run. Unfortunately, they dropped a game to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

Any loss at this point in the season is a brutal blow for the Lakers. Anthony Davis was out, and with the lack of rebounding, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham played Wenyen Gabriel heavy minutes at the expense of Rui Hachimura. He spoke about the decision after the game.

“Wenyen did a fantastic job rebounding,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “His activity, his length, changing up some shots. Just, again, his activity defensively in the paint. His ability to secure defensive rebounds. We wanted to go with that and get Rui a chance to come off the second half and try to make an impact with the second uni. But again, you could throw all of that out – rotations [and] coverages. Sometimes it just comes down to individual performance. And guys being locked in, once again, and understanding the circumstances of being ready to play. The beautiful thing about where we are is that with the games still left to play, we won’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We got to go back and fill our cups up tomorrow and get ready to take advantage of a five-game homestand.”

By the end of the night, Gabriel had logged 33:29, while Hachimura, who started the game, played just 17:29.

Gabriel ended the game with six points, 14 rebounds, an assist, and two steals on 2-of-5 shooting from the field. As for Hachimura, he put up only five points on 2-of-5 shooting overall and 1-of-3 shooting from distance.

D’Angelo Russell Sounds Off on Anthony Davis

As noted, the Lakers were without Davis against the Rockets, and after the game, D’Angelo Russell discussed what it was like to play without the star big man.

“He’s a player that demands so much attention,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of gravity that goes his way, and when he’s on the floor, obviously, you get a lot of easier opportunities to capitalize on. And when he’s not, you got to make up for it. When you’re facing a team that switches, no matter what team you’re facing, it makes the offense a little more stagnant. So, it has to be more ball movement, more continuity, more quick hitters, and second and third options. Things like that. So, like I said, we’re a team that’s figured a lot of things out. There are holes in our system right now that, obviously, we’re trying to figure it out. And when we’re not all out there, it’s going to make it hard.”

D’Angelo Russell Calls Anthony Davis a ‘Monster’

Meanwhile, after the Lakers’ recent win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Russell praised Davis’ elite performance.

“To answer your question, AD is a monster,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He continues to dominate the games. From defensively or offensively, tonight, he did a little bit of both. So, he continues to help our team. And then our supporting cast was amazing as well. I think that’s what got us over the hump.”

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