4. The “changed culture” in LA is an illusion
Another effect of drafting Lonzo Ball had many to believe that the Los Angeles Lakers were attempting to change their culture offensively. The team finally added some threats such as Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. With Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson only getting better, this “changed culture” seemed imminent.
After bringing in Ball many were quick to point out the tempo of the Los Angeles Lakers. The team was playing at a higher pace, was wearing teams down and was able to win some games early in the year because of it. The team seemingly was making that extra pass, taking that open look and improving on what was a dud of a year last season.
Admittedly, I bought into this culture change hype as well. The Lakers were already outscoring themselves significantly from last season, so on paper, it seemed as if the team did turn a corner. However, as statistics show, the Lakers are failing to play efficiently on the offensive side of the ball.
Los Angeles averages the most contested shots per game, 71.7, which is over eight shots higher than the next worst team — the Chicago Bulls. New addition Brook Lopez averages 15.1 contested shots per game, the most in the entire NBA.
Although the scoring numbers were up to start the year, this Lakers team is not playing as efficient as their early numbers suggested.