The Los Angeles Lakers are ranked 18th in defensive rating which is worrying because no team in the 21st century has won the championship while ranked so poorly defensively.
It has been an obvious struggle for the Lakers defensively, as they have allowed the second-most points in the league this year. Against the Sacramento Kings, they gave up a 13-point lead in the 4th quarter and were forced to three overtimes. Eventually, they lost the game 141-137.
According to LA Times, one rival assistant gave his opinion on what he believes is wrong with the Lakers.
“They’re old and they can’t stay in front of anyone,” the assistant told the Los Angeles Times.
Granted, the Lakers are old and might have a hard time keeping up with the younger, athletic guys in the league. But, their problem so far has been more about lacking the mindset to execute.
Age has been a major factor to be considered with this Lakers team. They are the oldest team in NBA history and have not made things easier on themselves.
So far, the Lakers have the most overtime games with 5, with the majority of their wins being close shaves. LeBron has also been unavailable for half of their games, and according to JJ Reddick, it seems like father time is catching up to him.
As much as age is a big deal for the Lakers, another factor that has been a source of worry is the partnership of their big three. Although they have not had much time to play together, chemistry is still an issue for this Lakers team as there is no clear system on how to run the offense. Nonetheless, head coach Frank Vogel is comfortable with LeBron leading the second unit at the 5, and that might be a constant we will see for longer.