Lakers News: Luke Walton Compliments Defensive Approach Against Jazz

Lakers News: Luke Walton Compliments Defensive Approach Against Jazz

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In their third regular season meeting with the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Lakers showed signs of improvement but ultimately fell by a score of 102-100. The first two regular season meetings involved a fourth quarter collapse, showing that the Lakers are still an improving team.

On the other hand, Tuesday’s contest saw vast improvements in terms of energy, defensive approach, and execution. After an unrealistic start, head coach Luke Walton and the Lakers have been brought back to reality, while still learning through the ups and downs of the NBA.

Each contest has shown tidbits of growth from the young core, as they attempt to collect it into a winning product. Walton had his team ready to go during their game against the Jazz, as we witnessed an improved approach on the defensive end.

After the game, Walton stated that the aggressiveness on defense was the key factor in keeping the game close, via Serena Winters of LakersNation.com:

The Lakers ended the game with eight steals and three blocks, as the Jazz ended the contest with 20 turnovers (compared to the 16 of the Lakers).

The help side defense seemed to improve vastly, while the primary defender had a physical on-ball approach on defense. Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw, and Sheldon Mack combined for 14 turnovers, as the Lakers were able to get in the passing lanes and come up with key deflections.

Coming into this season, it appeared as though Walton was able to reiterate the defense message into the entire team, as players who were known for offensive production have taken pride in their defense.

While Timofey Mozgov, Tarik Black, and Larry Nance Jr. (upon return from injury) man the middle, scorers like Nick Young, Jordan Clarkson, and Lou Williams have taken pride in stopping the opposing team.

With key defensive stops, the Lakers were able to get back into the game, along with a few lucky offensive outcomes. Walton stated that this defensive output was the best in quite some time and should be something they learn from moving forward:

Although the Lakers came away with a loss, it certainly bodes well for them in the grand scheme of things. While the Lakers continue to mature as a unit and gain experience with one another, they can take instances such as this and use it to help grow.

The Lakers gear up for a Thursday showdown at Staples Center, against the Dallas Mavericks. The contest, featuring two of the transitioning teams in the Western Conference, will be shown on TNT.