One of the first things that you notice when you watch these 2012 Los Angeles Lakers is their lack of consistent energy. That could be attributed to the Lakers team age, which is an average of around 29 years of age, compared to the NBA average of around 27.
Basketball is a young man’s game and most of the teams play at a high pace with younger athletes. The Lakers’ starting five, when Nash is healthy, is 32 years old. There are just certain things that older players struggle at, and one of those things is transition defense.
An older squad like the Lakers has to play at an extremely high-efficiency rate because of their roster. Going up-and-down with younger teams in the league isn’t what is going to win the Lakers games with this roster. A big issue is that their core guys just have a little too much mileage on them to make a consistent effort on defense. When watching the Lakers, you will see teams getting open shots, and even layups, based on missed rotations and guys just not being able to get back to stop the ball.
Most notably, Pau Gasol is the person who is out of place on defense more than anyone else even though it is reported he is going through knee tendinitis. A major reason why the Lakers are hovering around .500 is because the lack of energy on defense.
We all know that defense wins championships in the NBA. An honest chance at a championship it takes a team to collectively play solid defense and also stop the ball.
What we have witnessed with this collection of players is that they aren’t going to be able to keep up with the good young teams in the league. The days of the Lakers just showing up and blowing teams out are over. They have to show up with energy every night in order to earn victories, because we know nothing is given in the NBA.