The Los Angeles Lakers put on another disappointing performance last night. In what has almost become routine for the Lakers, they were underwhelming against the Boston Celtics, losing by 22 points. Despite LeBron James' return last night, the Lakers couldn't keep the Celtics at bay.
Anthony Davis put on a decent performance with 31 points, while LeBron James came back with 23 points on his own. But their individual brilliance was not enough for the Lakers to win the game. There is genuine concern about their big three working together, as they haven't clicked so far.
Russell Westbrook spoke after the game and said that the Lakers just haven't played enough together. But those words will start to annoy Lakers fans at this point, given the talent everyone on the team possesses. No lack of chemistry should allow for such a poor performance against a rival team.
Anthony Davis has acknowledged what many others have before him, and that is the Lakers' biggest problem area; defense. Davis said that the team has to improve on the defensive end going forward, especially if they aim to have a chance at winning the NBA championship.
“I don’t think it’s our offense. I think it’s our defense, honestly. We need to be better on the defensive end.”
The Lakers have been very poor on the defensive end so far, and are ranked 29th for points conceded per game. The Lakers' 2020 NBA championship win was primarily built on their excellent defense, with Anthony Davis leading the charge and being in contention for defensive player of the year.
Aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers don't have any consistently reliable defenders. And because of this, their performances have really let them down. Going forward, Frank Vogel will have to make adjustments to address their defensive concerns.