The Los Angeles Lakers lost their fourth straight game and showed again that inconsistent team defense is the main problem.
Since the arrival of Steve Nash offensively, as expected, the team has improved in fluidity, but what keeps becoming more of a problem and one which might well stop the Lakers from having a postseason is the defense, or lack of defense.
There are too many times when rotations are not timed correctly, they do not play a solid perimeter defense, they do not clog the lane, box out or get the necessary stops.
The defense is something that head coach Mike D’Antoni is not best known for, and was a fact that all Laker fans were aware of when he was hired, and with each games it keeps becoming highlighted. The team plays like they do not want to put up any form of resistance. The system might not well be complimentary to Pau Gasol’s game but more energy and dedication to get back in transition is still required from the Spaniard.
Dwight Howard who on his best day is one of (if not the best) defensive player in the league, has failed to show fans at the Staples Center his true colors.
There have been signs of improvement in sporadic moments but consistency is another major problem. An increase in communication and connectivity at the defensive end will surely improve what they can do offensively.
According to Synergy, the Lakers are ranked 23rd in the NBA for defending isolation. The fact that the team is ‘old’ and ‘slow’ according to Kobe Bryant is a problem when they come up against more youthful teams.
Offensively the team might look good, but in the NBA it is a well-known fact that championships are based on defense.
What the Lakers need to do to change from being a mediocre team is get in more youthful players who are dedicated to the defensive game. It might just well be the case as the halfway mark of the season approaches that this could be the season that got away. They need to regroup with another new looking roster, this time one which is young and wants to defend.