Basketball Prospectus: Last week, I projected 62 wins and the NBA’s best record for the Los Angeles Lakers. Three games into the season, that already feels like it might be a little low. In starting their campaign with a pair of blowout wins and a road victory at Denver, the Lakers have yet to entirely click in on offense. However, that has been obscured by a dominant defense that has allowed opponents just 90.4 points per 100 possessions, far and away tops in the league.
With the Lakers bringing back virtually the entire core of an offense that was lights-out last season after the addition of Pau Gasol, Phil Jackson had the opportunity to focus on defense during training camp. The result, he explained to Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus last week, has been a chance to experiment.
“Now you can load up a side and you can do things that change the game,” Jackson said, noting recent rules changes. “Last year we experimented with it at times but we didn’t whole-heartedly adapt what other teams have been taking advantage of with the new rules situation.
“I always feel (a zone) leaves your weak side vulnerable to three-point shooting but this is something we’re experimenting with this year.” said Jackson. “That’s why we spent more time defensively (in camp).”