As the Los Angeles Lakers get prepared for the NBA to restart their season, one of their newer players is focused on playing defense to get on the court.
The Los Angeles Lakers are nearly ready for the NBA to resume their season, as they have been down in Orlando practicing in the NBA Bubble. For the Lakers, they will be entering the NBA restart with the best record in the Western Conference and the second-best record overall.
However, the Lakers do have some concerns as they get ready to chase a championship. One of those concerns is all of the new faces that they have on the team. Due to Avery Bradley opting out of the season, the Lakers had a spot to fill on the roster.
The Lakers worked quickly and signed J.R. Smith for the rest of the season. Smith has a lot of experience in the NBA and the playoffs but hasn’t played in a while. Despite this, Smith could be a help for the team.
In a recent interview with Allie Clifton on Spectrum Sports Net, Smith spoke about playing hard on the defensive end of the court to secure playing time.
"“Same as always. Bring the energy, play defense as hard as I can, get to my spots, shoot when I’m open, create for my teammates. If I’ve got two (defenders) in front of me, somebody’s open. But more than anything, I’m just trying to get the defense down because that’s how I’ll stay on the court. If I play defense they’ll keep me on the court longer, so that’s my main focus.”"
Due to the Lakers being down Bradley and Rajon Rondo, there are a lot of minutes up for grabs for guys like Smith. Since Smith hasn’t played a game with the Lakers this season, he is going to have to prove himself to the coaching staff, as the Lakers have quite a good amount of depth.
Smith can provide the Lakers with a strong wing defender, which will be needed with Bradley out. Bradley was one of the best perimeter defenders on the team, and the Lakers have prided themselves on defense all year.
In addition to being strong defensively, Smith can space the floor and knock down 3-pointers for the Lakers. With a lot of experience in big games and as a solid 3-and-D player, Smith should be able to carve out a nice rotation spot for the Lakers heading into the playoffs.