The Los Angeles Lakers started the second half of the season with a refreshed image, winning their first three matches since the All-Star break, demonstrating their slump wasn't going to last that much. While they wait for Anthony Davis' return to the court, the purple and gold are playing good basketball, confirming they are still the team to beat in the league.
On Tuesday night, against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they showed their offensive power but the Lakers are not only what they can do on the offensive end of the ball. In fact, they are the best defensive team in the league this season. One Redditor called "u/lebronsjameshardens" got to work and found out that they have a 2.3 advantage over the second-ranked team on the list, the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Los Angeles Lakers are by FAR the best defensive team in the NBA this year with a Defensive Rating of 105.7.
That’s 2.3 points lower than the #2 ranked defense, the Philadelphia 76ers at 108 (per NBA.com)
To put that into perspective, the difference between ranks 1 and 2 is greater than the difference between ranks 2 and 10.
The Lakers are having an excellent defensive season, especially considering the explosion of offense caused by improved player skill and reduces crowds.
This is especially impressive considering their best defensive player has missed half the season. I hadn’t seen it being highlighted in this sub much, so I wanted to bring attention to it.
As this user said, they're posting these numbers without AD. He has missed a couple of weeks of competition due to an injury and the Lakers still maintained their good defensive level. Once he returns to the court, the rest of the league will need to step up their offensive game if they actually want to beat the purple and gold.
Even when people think they are done, they can't do anything without AD, Frank Vogel, LeBron James, and co. find the way to continue their good moment, which is exactly why they're considered the biggest favorites to win the NBA championship.