LeBron James Lakers get robbed in Boston but its being

LeBron James, Lakers get robbed in Boston, but it’s being orchestrated (yet again) by Darvin Ham’s late-game coach

LeBron James and the Lakers haven’t nailed an accurate whistle after a handful of games this season, and it seared them again on Saturday night in a brutal 125-121 overtime loss to the Celtics in Boston.

With a 105-score, the Lakers had a frontcourt touchline out of bounds with 4.1 seconds to play normally. LeBron rolled around the lead for the inbound pass and continued straight downhill to get to the rim for a game-winning layup attempt. He didn’t even draw iron, and for an obvious reason. He was clearly fouled by Jayson Tatum, who hacked LeBron’s left forearm straight as day.

Here’s a closer look.

Forget the manipulated comment in the tweet. These games are not rigged. You just missed the call, plain and simple. According to multiple reports, the league didn’t even wait for their usual last-two-minute report the next day to admit they missed the call.

You can understand that LeBron’s frustration is reaching a boiling point. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to him or the Lakers this season. Hell, it’s not even the first time it’s happened this month.

Indeed, on Jan. 12, James was burned by a no-call on another potentially game-winning layup attempt in a double overtime loss to Dallas; The Last Two Minute Report confirmed that Christian Wood did indeed hack LeBron to a tie and the final seconds ticked out at the end of the first overtime.

So, yes, this is another hard blow for LeBron and the Lakers, who don’t have the margin of error to absorb multiple late-game robberies. That is, in both examples referenced, the Lakers should never have been able to get wronged by officials in the first place.

After the loss to the Mavericks, Darvin Ham admitted he “kicked”. [himself] in the butt” for not double-tapping Luka Doncic with the Lakers at the end of regulation with three, but letting him play one-on-one and ultimately hitting the game-winning 3-pointer.

But that wasn’t Ham’s first or biggest blunder in possession. He should have fouled the Lakers before the Doncic shot to stop him or anyone else from even attempting a game-tying 3-pointer.

I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again. Being allowed to intentionally foul, which is basically meant to hurt your chances of success when you get up at three late in a game, is stupid. But until the league finds a way to enforce its own rules with integrity, there’s no statistical justification for allowing an opponent to attempt a game-determining 3-pointer instead of sending them to the free-throw line for two shots.

Yet there are still coaches like Ham who are either too stubborn to accept basic math or too scared of fouling when shooting – these are pros, they should be able to figure it out – to the smart one to do. You’d think that, having seen Doncic burn the Lakers with a match tie 3 a few weeks earlier, Ham wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

But he did. With possession before James was deprived of potential game-winning free throws, the Lakers held a three-point lead with the clock winding up less than 10 seconds. LA had several chances to foul and stop the Celtics from an equal-game attempt, starting with Troy Brown Jr. and Patrick Beverley, who had Malcolm Brogdon in brace at the head of the key.

Instead, they let Brown swing the ball to Tatum, who swung it to Al Horford, who had a wide-open 3 in the corner. That’s shot defense trying to protect from all play, and the Lakers willingly let the Celtics shoot with play on the line when they had multiple foul opportunities instead.

Horford missed, but that’s not the point. This is terrible coaching saved by good luck… at least initially. See, the other problem with letting teams try to play 3s is that they’re much more likely to generate an offensive rebound than a free throw, and that’s actually what happened.

Jaylen Brown swooped in to snap Horford’s miss and finished a layup…plus the foul on Beverley. He took the free throw to level the game and you know what happened from there.

To be clear, Beverly made a silly play by fouling Brown. you are three above Let the guy hang up. Attempting to contest that shot is a catastrophic mistake. But things happen in chaotic situations. pull down the clock. tight game Loose rebound. Instincts and emotions take over. This scenario should never have happened either. Ham must order the Lakers to foul.

Those aren’t the only late-game mistakes Ham has made this season. You can very much question his super small final lineups. On Saturday, he didn’t play the entire fourth quarter against Russell Westbrook (smart) only to throw him on fire in the middle of overtime (not smart).

Westbrook made some good plays in overtime and he made some bad plays. Again not the point. If he’s not trusted enough to be on the ground in the fourth quarter, it’s a prayer to arbitrarily throw him into overtime, especially as part of a tiny three-man formation that can’t shoot together.

A few weeks ago, Ham Westbrook absolutely botched the final possession of the game when the Lakers trailed the Sixers by one instead of taking a time-out and making sure LeBron at least touches the ball at such a pivotal moment.

Ham said after that loss that he never considered taking a timeout because he liked the matchup between Westbrook and Joel Embiid.

“I take this scenario every day of the week and twice on Sundays,” Ham said.

As I wrote then, and as I will write again, this comment is nothing more than Ham’s attempt to have Westbrook’s back and perhaps protect his own by justifying a bad decision. This property was a wreck and you could see it pretty damn close in slow motion.

Even though Ham initially liked the matchup, there was no way it would work once Westbrook fumbled the ball. Had Ham taken a timeout at that moment, he could have drafted a play with about seven seconds left to give LeBron the ball and ensure the Lakers got a good look at the basket.

These are terrible decisions, and they’re costing the Lakers crucial victories they can’t afford to lose. On Saturday, when officials stole a game from the Lakers, it happened again that Ham should have ended a possession sooner.