Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was hard on himself after the Lakers dropped a double overtime 119-115 decision to the Dallas Mavericks, their second straight loss after recently winning five games in a row.
The loss came after Luka Doncic (35 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists) knocked down a step-back triple over the 6’2 Dennis Schröder. Luka Legend forced overtime after he inbounded the ball to Spender Dinwiddie, who then handed him the ball while simultaneously setting the screen, forcing the Lakers to switch from Russell Westbrook being Doncic’s primary defender to Schröder defending Doncic.
“We weren’t looking to foul,” Ham explained postgame. “Felt confident in the five guys we had defending, and he did what Luka does, he made a shot. I’m kicking myself in the butt. I needed to coach a little better in that instance; we should have blitzed him — or at least forced him inside the three-point line.”
“You know, it’s those situations [that are] kinda chaotic — bunch of chatter, everything’s going on, you’re trying to figure out matchups. We — read [the Mavericks’ offense], switched anyways. So I’ll take the bullet for that. That’s on me. We have to be better defensively in those moments and force someone else [other than Doncic] to beat us.
Leaving Schröder on an island was a vastly different strategic decision for a Lakers team blitzing Doncic with double-teams all game. Although Doncic finished the game with a triple-double, forcing the ball out of his hand or making him shoot over a taller lengthier defender would’ve been the preferred result.
The lakers had a chance to win after rallying back from a 19-point regulation deficit, but they couldn’t make enough plays over the extra 10 minutes they played. Dinwiddie delivered the win after scoring twice during Dallas’ decisive 6-0 run, making sure the Mavs won for the second time in five games.
The Lakers will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.