Darvin Ham: Lakers have to keep playing up-tempo

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered an epic meltdown in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. They had a 20-point lead in the third quarter, and it looked like they were well on their way to tying the series.

But they went away from what got them the lead. One of the many reasons they gave up their lead was the fact that they walked the ball upcourt on a consistent basis instead of playing fast-break basketball, which is the style they’re most effective playing.

Head coach Darvin Ham recognized this and said Los Angeles has to keep playing fast and with urgency.

Via Lakers Nation:

“The pace has to continue,” Ham said. “You build a lead, you can’t go to playing slow and try to play the clock game. Just have to stay aggressive, stay organized, understand where you’re trying to go with the ball, be aggressive to the paint, things we’ve been preaching all year. But to slow down and they’re gaining the momentum now just because you’re slow, we’re out of rhythm. So we just got to figure out a way to maintain pace.”

During the regular season, L.A. was fourth in pace and third in fast-break points. When it has been successful, it has done so by turning good defense into points either on the fast break or in early offense.

But during the LeBron James era, it has gotten into trouble when it has walked the ball upcourt and milked the shot clock. It is something James and his teammates have often been guilty of, especially in the second halves of games.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire