Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham believes his team is facing a 3-0 series deficit in the 2023 Western Conference Finals because of poor adjustments. Simply put, Ham thinks the best adjustment is just to play better.
“Sometimes the greatest adjustment is just to play better,” Ham told Sam Amick of The Athletic ahead of Game 4. “Play harder. Play better. Sometimes that’s the most key adjustment. It’s funny, [how] it’s almost becoming cliché.”
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Lakers now have the lowest championship odds among the four remaining playoff teams. Sportsbooks are giving the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics better odds.
Darvin Ham still has hope for the Lakers down 3-0. pic.twitter.com/WdvosGDNk9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 21, 2023
“[People say], ‘What’s your adjustments, adjustments, adjustments?’ Lakers coach Darvin Ham added. “Sometimes you go in there, and you take a long, hard look at the film to clean up what you need to clean up, and you try to do what you’re doing better. You know, there’s a difference between strategy and individual performance.
“Sometimes you can have the right strategy but poor individual performance. You have to be able to navigate through all of that, and recognize and pinpoint what exactly is causing us to fall short. And once you do that, reveal it to the team in simple form, and you go out and execute.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham hopes his players will step up their performances in Game 4 against Nuggets
The Lakers are aiming to become the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series and win. Meanwhile, the Nuggets seek their first NBA Finals appearance in their 47th NBA season. The 46 seasons to reach the Finals would be the most in league history and third most in NBA/NHL/MLB history.
Furthermore, teams that trailed 0-3 in the NBA playoffs have a 0-149 all-time record. This is the first time since 2013 the Lakers are down 3-0 in a playoff series. Their eight losses from their 0-8 all-time record in Game 4s when down 3-0 in seven-game series are the most losses without a win in NBA history.
Of course, NBA teams have a 6-56 all-time series record when trailing 2-0 in the conference finals as well. Two of the six conference finals series wins were from LeBron James-led teams. The four-time MVP helped the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Detroit Pistons in 2007 and Boston Celtics in 2018.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) May 23, 2023
James has a 10-1 series record in career conference finals. His only series loss was against the Orlando Magic in 2009. Through 15 starts this postseason, the 19-time All-Star is averaging 23.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.2 blocks, and 38.1 minutes per game.
According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Lakers have a 53.2% chance of defeating Denver in Game 4. Sportsbooks show L.A. as a 3.5-point favorite at home.
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Source: Basketball Insider