Is this going to be another awful Lakers season?
Sitting at 0-3, the Lakers are starting the season off on a sour note. They started the season playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers had a chance to win the game, but Lou Williams came up short on a last second shot, losing the game 112-111.
The second game of the season they played the Sacramento Kings. They gave up way too many points, letting the Kings abuse them in the paint, scoring 80 points in the restricted area. Also allowing the Kings to score 132 points by the end of the game.
There is no way the team is going to win giving up that many points. The western conference is brutal, and if the Lakers are planning on at least being competitive this year, their first priority needs to be finding a way to fix the defense. Through three games their allowing 122 points per game, which is last in the NBA.
There allowing defenders to penetrate at will. Each game teams have consistently attacked the basket, knowing there is no way the Lakers are going to stop them. The team needs to stop allowing defenders to drive into the paint, and find a way to make them take tough contested shots.
Secondly, although the offense as a whole has been good ranking seventh in offensive efficiency, as soon as the fourth quarter starts everyone stops passing the ball and starts playing one on one, isolation basketball. The numbers prove it, with the Lakers ranking 21st in the NBA in fourth quarter points per game.
They need to start sharing the ball, teams like Golden State, San Antonio and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the top teams in the NBA because those teams pass up good shots to find a great shot. Everyone is willing to make the extra pass; and right now the Lakers aren’t willing to do that, ranking 22nd in assists per game. Compare that to Golden State who ranks 1st and Cleveland who ranks 3rd. If the team wants to win, they need to start sharing the ball.
Lastly, Lakers fans have to be asking themselves, is Byron Scott the right coach for this team. It’s his second season, and the team hasn’t shown any improvements. He has done a good job developing Jordan Clarkson, but that’s where the positives end. His offense has no creativity; there is no ball movement, no player movement, everyone seems to stand around watching one another take there man off the dribble, only to take a tough contested shot.
Also for someone that proclaims he is a defensive minded coach the numbers tell otherwise, they ranked second last in points allowed per game last year giving up 105.3 points. And the team has regressed this year giving up 122 point per game, albeit in its only been three games. But the point is, when does the coach take responsibility, Byron Scott need to start being help accountable. For example the team still doesn’t have an identity. When they signed him before the start of last year, he said he was going to bring a defensive identity to this team, but that is yet to been seen.
The Lakers need to figure something out, I know the team is younger, but with the additions of Lou Williams and Roy Hibbert this off-season, they were looking to at least be competitive. That hasn’t happened; instead it seems like the teams in disarray. Whether this is going to be a season it which the Lakers are going to look to develop the younger players or compete, either way the team needs to start playing better. Lakers management was expecting the team to compete for the Playoffs, whether that’s realistic or not, that’s what they expected. Now it’s time to prove if they are capable of that task or not.