The Lakers have a tough task in front of them. With a lot of ground to make up, and little time left, many are doubting whether it can even be done. Right now, the Lakers would have to beat out the Kings and Clippers for that #8 seed in the West, a place the Purple and Gold are still 3 games back from.
Their current standing does have many wondering what, exactly the problem is for Los Angeles. After all, even the Cavs were able to squeeze in last year, despite a rather weak roster.
Among a list of other players, Rajon Rondo recently shared his thoughts on what is plaguing his team: their ability to stop their opponents.
“We have no other choice,” Rondo said of the defense, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “It’s either we do or we don’t. We do, we make the playoffs and still with that mindset if we do, if we get in the playoffs we can easily get swept in four games. So we have to start buying into the scouting report and start buying into each other and start to play for each other a lot more.”
It's no secret that the Lakers struggle on that end of the floor. They rank near the bottom in points allowed and are often caught falling asleep on the defensive end.
No matter how many other problems have, the Lakers are just not good enough to not worry about defense. Rondo is right, they'll need to start buying in, to defense especially, if they really want to pose a threat in the loaded Western Conference.
They have LeBron James... so there's always a chance. But they will need everyone to step up if they want to really ensure they earn that last and final playoff spot this spring.