Breaking News: The strong Heat are a better trained team than the Los Angeles Lakers. This was evident in the fourth quarter of their game on Wednesday night. Erik Spoelstra has been with the Heat organization since 1995 and has been their head coach since 2008. After nine seasons as an NBA player, Darvin Ham was an assistant at three teams for twelve years before getting his first head coaching job with the Lakers in 2022. The team in gold jerseys remained competitive for most of the night on Wednesday, but the Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter and secured a 110-96 victory—without Jimmy Butler.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jovan Buha reported on Thursday that there is some dissatisfaction in the Lakers‘ locker room. Some players are unhappy with Ham’s constant lineup changes. The unit he started the game with on Wednesday—LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, Cam Reddish, and Taurean Prince—was the tenth starting lineup for the Lakers this season. They were decimated by the Heat in the first quarter and went 0-7 from the 3-point line with 10 turnovers.
The Lakers‘ last two losses were tough. They lost by 20 points to the New Orleans Pelicans on New Year’s Eve. These recent large deficits in the loss could possibly be explained by Rui Hachimura’s calf injury. However, the Lakers‘ biggest problem in this losing streak after the IST championship is their inability to finish games. Some of it is coaching, but most of it is the roster.