Their defense has improved, but their offense may be down a bit. None the less, the Lakers hold the league’s best record!
NBA.com: At 33-10, the Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the NBA. Though there have been some bumps in the road, they’ve seemingly picked up where they left off in June.
But this Laker team is a little different than the one that won the 2009 NBA championship. They’ve taken another step forward defensively and currently rank as the third-best defensive team in the league and the second-best defensive team that Kobe Bryant has been a part of (behind the 1999-00 Lakers).
Conversely, this is one of the worst offensive teams that the Lakers have had during Bryant’s career. They currently rank 10th in the league, scoring 105.9 points per 100 possessions, just 1.9 points above the league average. Three other Lakers teams have been worse relative to the league, but none have been ranked lower offensively.
When you think about how stacked with talent this Lakers team is, it can be hard to believe that they’re worse offensively than teams like the Raptors, Blazers, or Grizzlies. You’ve got Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom running the vaunted triangle and you’re barely a top 10 offense?
Of course, we’re nitpicking here a little. The bottom line is that L.A. is currently in line to have home-court advantage through the Finals. And with Pau Gasol now healthy and Mo Williams now injured, they should be able to put more distance between themselves and the Cavaliers.
But a look at the Lakers’ 10 losses, two of them against those Cavs and seven against possible playoff opponents in the West, reveals that offense has certainly been a problem this season. They’ve failed to score a point per possession in seven of their 10 losses.
Less than 24 hours after his team shot just 39 percent from the field in Cleveland, Phil Jackson admitted that the offense is a concern, and pointed at shot selection as part of the problem.
“We’ve talked about that consistently over the last two or three weeks,” Jackson said Friday. “We have people taking shots from positions they probably shouldn’t take shots [from]. We’re not executing quite the way we’d like to execute, in getting the ball in positions to where we’re most comfortable.”