Above all else, the defense of the LA Lakers is costing them dearly against not-so-good teams.
The Sacramento Kings, as you probably know, aren’t one of the NBA’s powerhouse franchises at the moment.
If anything, they’re an emerging squad, still looking for their identity in many ways — a lot like the Lakers we see right now.
Unfortunately, that middle ground team was able to score 132 points in four quarters of regulation against the Lakers.
That’s not a good sign for things to come if something doesn’t change.
Think about it — the Lakers still have yet to play the high-powered Clippers and Warriors.
If they were to play with that same style of defense, can you imagine how many points they might allow?
150? Worse? That can’t happen — you just can’t win games like that.
Even if that nightmare never comes to fruition, the idea that we’re even considering the fact of that happening should speak enough to how bad the defense really has looked so far.
If the Lakers had come out of their home opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a win, they’re motivation might have looked completely different against the Kings.
But let’s not play with the hypothetical, Los Angeles has done that enough and it’s been enough heart break already.
One thing that might help is improvement on the part of D’Angelo Russell.
Yes, obviously Russell is going to continue to improve as the season goes on, but that doesn’t mean we should have low expectations for him this early in the season.
After all, the front office did pick him No. 2 overall for a reason.
Once Russell finds his groove, the rest of the pieces will hopefully fall into place.
In addition, the Lakers also could use and have missed some essential production from off-season acquisition Brandon Bass.
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To the surprise of many folks, though, Roy Hibbert, for whatever reason, is looking like his better self.
Why we haven’t seen the playoff kind of Hibbert that he was when he played for the Indiana Pacers is something I have yet to figure out.
If you know the answer, let me know, because it’s not making sense yet.
The one thing that has gotten noticeably better is their bench play, though — even if it’s just from one guy.
Lou Williams was brought on from the Toronto Raptors for that exact reason, and it excites me to know that he’s fulfilling his role with big strides.
But it’s not a one man game, and once the new-look Lakers figure that out, they’ll be alright.
Or so we hope.