3 Moves Darvin Ham Needs to Make Against the Nuggets To Save His Job

The Lakers head coach needs to push the right buttons to give his team a chance against the Nuggets.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

2. Play Gabe Vincent More

One of the X-factors for the Lakers in the playoffs will be Gabe Vincent. After missing most of the regular season with an injury, Vincent made his return a few weeks ago and showed how he can make a difference in the games he has played since then.

In the play-in game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the 27-year-old guard was excellent defensively, taking charges, making hustle plays, and getting over screens.

The Lakers have been playing more offensive-minded lineups this season. The starting backcourt of Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell has been very good offensively but it doesn't provide much defensive intensity. The defensive competence that Dennis Schroder brought last season has been the missing part for the Lakers all season.

Gabe Vincent was brought in to provide that for the Lakers and be the Schroder replacement. Unfortunately, they couldn't get that during the season but the former Heat guard is looking healthy and ready to contribute now.

The Nuggets rely on the Jamal Murray-Nikola Jokic two-man game, especially in the fourth quarters. They are going to run pick-and-roll involving those two every time they need points.

Gabe Vincent is likely the best guard defender on the team and Darvin Ham needs to deploy him on Murray as much as he can to take him out of his game. Russell and Reaves don't have a shot at guarding those actions, so Vincent should play as many minutes as he can handle coming off the injury.