Lakers source rips Darvin Ham’s game plan vs. Heat: ‘We couldn’t do s–t against Miami’s zone, and we have LeBron’

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Darvin Ham is receiving criticism for the Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles adapting, with one source saying the team “couldn’t do s—,” against the zone defense of the Miami Heat.

“We couldn’t do s— against Miami’s zone, and we have LeBron [James],” the source told Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin. “After the game, it was all, ‘We gotta do this, players gotta do that.’ Not once did we hear about coaches not knowing what to do against a 2-3.”

The Heat most recently defeated the Lakers 110-96 back on Jan. 3. Miami also defeated Los Angeles 108-107 on Nov. 6.

In the January game, James managed to score just 12 points despite playing more than 38 minutes. He shot 0-for-6 from 3-point range. The Heat led by just two points early in the fourth quarter but put some solid runs together to take control. The Lakers made just four of their 30 3-point attempts in the game.

The criticism of Ham is interesting as it comes amidst a report that his future with the Lakers could be defined by their results this month. The Lakers are in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 33-28 record entering their game against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Heat were in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 33-26 record heading into their game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Miami had a five-game winning streak stopped with a loss to Denver on Thursday. The Heat lost to the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals, and it was their first game against each other since then.

Miami has won nine of its past 12 games following a seven-game losing streak in January. It recently got back Terry Rozier from an injury, though it remains without the injured Tyler Herro for now.

Even so, the Heat are rounding into form and once again serving notice that they could be a difficult team to face once the playoffs come around. One NBA insider recently said that “nobody wants to see these guys” in the postseason.

The Heat and Lakers faced off in the 2020 NBA Finals in a series that was won by Los Angeles under head coach Frank Vogel.

Ham is in his second season as the head coach of the Lakers, and based on the criticism and speculation swirling around him, his future is becoming an impossible storyline to ignore.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.