Darvin Ham had the Lakers focused on rebounding during practice

In the 1980s, as the Los Angeles Lakers were growing from a great team into arguably the greatest team in NBA history, their head coach Pat Riley had a mantra: “No rebounds, no rings.”

Today’s Lakers could use the same mentality, and it looks like current head coach Darvin Ham is looking to instill that mentality into his men.

They have had issues controlling the defensive backboard, such as when they were outrebounded by 17 and gave up 22 second-chance points in their loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Ham reportedly dedicated Tuesday’s film session and practice to addressing that weakness, and he talked about what needs to be done.

Via Lakers Nation:

“We just watched a huge section on it in our film session, all bad clips,” Ham said after Lakers practice on Tuesday. “But it’s just a matter of will. Getting in position early, doing whatever it is you have to do to secure a rebound and hold a team to one possession. We call it gang rebounding just due to the fact that it’s gonna take all five guys.

“The way the ball is being shot now from 3, rebounds can land just about anywhere. More times than not, it’s around the free throw line or at the elbows, sometimes backside rebounds on the baseline. But you just got to be ready to go get it. You got to have a nose for it and make sure you put bodies on bodies and everyone participates.”

At times against Phoenix, the Lakers played solid defense and got a hand on the ball after a missed shot, only to allow Phoenix to secure an offensive rebound.

“It comes down to keeping everyone engaged to finish out the possession,” Ham added. “We talked about it today, two of the many things that we addressed was being great at the beginning of the defense and being great at the end of the defense.

“Transition defense and defensive rebounding. Everything in the middle, we can figure out. We’ve done a great job guarding the pick-and-roll, we’ve done a great job with our activity, we had a lot of great clips of guys competing on the ball. But again, those first six seconds and those last six seconds are huge.”

When the Lakers do rebound on the defensive end well, it often leads to fast breaks. They’re third in the league in fast-break points per game, and it’s the one thing they do as well as any other team.

But when they give up offensive rebounds, they put themselves at a major disadvantage, especially when one also considers their issues defending the 3-point shot.

The Purple and Gold will face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday evening, and it will be another crucial contest in terms of their chances of making the playoffs. They are 10th in the Western Conference with a 31-28 record.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire