Photo: Spectrum SportsNet/x

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has brushed off suggestions that the team should tank to avoid facing the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs.

After securing a playoff spot with a hard-fought victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers are set to take on the defending champion Nuggets in the first round.

Despite Denver’s dominance over the Lakers in recent matchups, including a sweep in last year’s conference finals, Ham remains undeterred.

In response to the chatter about tanking, Ham humorously quipped, “Insane asylum sources say,” emphasizing the absurdity of such suggestions.

Expressing excitement about the upcoming challenge against the Nuggets, Ham highlighted the opportunity for his team to reset and showcase their capabilities.

Ham emphasized the importance of approaching the series with a fresh mindset, acknowledging Denver’s past success but remaining confident in the Lakers’ abilities.

“It’s an opportunity,” Ham said. “Like I said, it’s back to zero-zero. Obviously, they’ve had a ton of success against our ball club. But there’s always a new day

“My staff and I have already been putting the ground work together for that game plan and we’ll be together tomorrow. Other guys, the team will have a day off but we’ll start the work process of building out the game plan and go up there and give it our best shot. That’s all we can do.

“We feel comfortable though. We like where we are, we like where the spirit of our group is. Everybody’s chipping in, pitching in excited about this challenge and this opportunity in respect of them. They’re a hell of a ball club. It’s a reason why they’re defending champs.”