After just 2 preseason games here is my current assessment.
Offense: Overall, the offense is exactly what this team needs. Although some of the players and lineups don't optimize the potential output, I really like what I've seen in terms of tempo, ball movement, and spacing. It's just a blessing to not have to watch an isolation dominated offense. With time, players will gradually become more comfortable thus making the proper reads. One key element in regards to this current offense and any current offense in modern basketball is off ball movement and player positioning. Both of which will improve over time.
Defense: The perimeter defense has been stellar (in comparison to that of last year). Clarkson has easily been the most impressive but Russell has also been quiet a surprise as he seems to have learned how to take advantage of his length despite not being as quick as most point guards. However the interior defense and even defensive rebounding at times has looked a bit iffy. Mozgov is a serviceable rim protector and has looked good moving quickly up and down court but Julius still needs to show that he can be dependable on this end of the court.
Individual Player Analysis
Russell - We all know what he brings to the floor offensively with that deadly pick and roll play. His defense has improved immensely as well. The only (slight) concern as of now is the turnover rate, but I understand that it's a new offense and he'll settle down in due time. When watching him on the court, you can tell that he's actually looking to make the right play rather than score first. Unfortunately, there's been many times where fellow teammates fail to make the proper read and move to the proper position. Again, much of this will improve over time.
Randle - The one area in which Randle has really surprised me in is the speed at which he can move the ball upcourt following a defensive board. It's crazy fast and will really be difficult for other 4s to keep up with. There's plays where he'll go back to his iso dominate ways, but there are also instances where he'll make the correct pass. He's still a big question mark for me, but I'm okay with what I've seen thus far.
Clarkson - Easily one of the top players on our team despite coming off the bench the first two games. His shot release is significantly faster compared to previous years and his range has also expanded as he seems much more comfortable and confident shooting the 3 ball. His defense has been his greatest improvement and I hope to see a lot of great things out of him this year. Again, $13 million for Clarkson was the biggest steal this off season.
Ingram - You can immediately tell that he's still making the transition to the NBA. While not a nervous wreck on the floor, it's obvious that the nerves are there. There hasn't been much to say in terms of offensive output, he just needs to assert himself a bit more. Defensively he has the potential to lockdown guys with his length.
Nance - Easily one of my favorite players on the team. Ironically, I actually prefer him off the bench alongside Tarik rather than starting because he provides an instant boost of energy. He hustles and makes all the right decisions on both ends. On defense, he seems to have improved on closing out on players as well as switching to the correct area to cover gaps. Offensively, his IQ has really impressed me. He doesn't rush anything and seems to make the correct read/pass a majority of the time. If he ever gets a decent mid range game or reliable 3 point shot, watch out.
The 2nd unit in general has been really fun to watch thanks to Nance and Black. When looking at a young team without superior talent and player personnel, the one thing that will keep us in games this year and possibly scratch a few W's in the winning column is hustle and energy.
Lou Williams... I love his character, I love his personality, and I love his flexible contract. Unfortunately, his style of play just doesn't fit our current offense and it's obvious in just 2 games. What the Lakers need is a consistent spot-up/knock down shooter to help spread the floor and be open when Russell or Randle penetrate. Lou doesn't provide. I actually think Nick Young will be more serviceable and efficient in this offense compared to Lou.
SIDE NOTE: Cut Yi, he's trash, give his minutes to Zubac because the kid has crazy potential.
Edited by LakeShow1o1, October 08, 2016 - 10:35 AM.