The Los Angeles Lakers have massively disappointed so far this season.
They entered the year considered favorites to claim the title. Instead, they’ve been hovering around the .500 mark and looking like a shell of what many hyped them up to be.
While Russell Westbrook’s offensive woes have captured many headlines thus far, the real issue for LA isn’t on the offensive side of the ball.
Following the team’s defeat to the Boston Celtics on Friday, Lakers star Anthony Davis expressed what has really been to blame for his team’s issues.
“I don’t think it’s our offense,” he said. “I think it’s our defense, honestly. We need to be better on the defensive end.”
Davis is not wrong.
When the Lakers won the championship in 2020, it was largely due to their defensive prowess. This season, they rank 29th in points allowed and 20th in defensive rating. They simply will not win a title that way.
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 19, 2021
Against Boston, Davis finished with 31 points on the day. LeBron James chipped in 23 points. Despite that, the Lakers lost by 22 points. The Celtics are not some sort of offensive juggernaut, and the Lakers’ inability to slow them down speaks volumes regarding what the true problem is.
At this point, LA needs to get it together. The team is an absolute laughing stock right now. Literally. And it all starts on the defensive side of the ball.
Clearly the Lakers know what the problem is, since Davis literally just pointed it out. Will they be able to fix it, though? Time will tell.