For me, it has not been easy to identify who this Lakers team is right now, or for that matter, what they will look like at the end of the year. Too many moving pieces at the moment, & like many other teams with overhauled rosters, just finding some consistency is an immediate, short term goal for the head coaches. The one consistent pattern the Lakers have upheld 4 games into the season, is lack of defense.
Don’t believe me? Try this on for size.
The season opening win against the Clippers they allowed 103 points. They followed that up by letting Golden State torch them for 125 points, then in game 3, they had their best effort against the Spurs, who scored 91 without the services of Tim Duncan. Sunday night they gave up 103 to the Hawks, and so it goes.
Now I understand the Lakers gave themselves a much needed infusion of youth, speed, & bench depth. I also get it, that their coach doesn’t exactly preach defense in practice, or on game day. His belief is if your team scores more than the other guys, you win. Most times that is true, but in this league you better have at least one clamp down defender to bring to the party if you want to be a serious playoff contender.
The high flying, run and gun offense is a welcome sight after watching the Lakers plod their way to an 8 seed in the playoffs last year. Make no mistake, that team was hard to watch more often than not, but at least they had a few guys actually guarding their opponents.
Summer league is for pick up games, shirts vs skins, that sort of stuff. Now that the season has arrived, it’s time to stop looking like a playground pickup team only interested in padding statistics and not guarding anyone on defense.
I want nothing more than for this Lakers team to be one of the most memorable of all time. I just don’t want the memory to be of the one that gave up the most points in a season. Summer is over boys, school is now in session. Let’s put away childish things, and play grown men basketball. You want to win championships?