The Los Angeles Lakers are clearly in a rebuilding phase, hoping that young talent like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and others will eventually allow them to return to the top of the NBA mountain. It’s easier said than done, and the Lakers have their work cut out for them, but the future does appear to be bright.
So far the 2017-2018 season has been something of a mixed bag. The team has shown real improvements on the defensive end of the floor, which was a must after they finished dead last in defensive efficiency last season.
The offense, which was expected to be a strength however, has sputtered, and head coach Luke Walton said after a loss to the Utah Jazz that he wants his squad to pick up the pace, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke says he still thinks the Lakers need to play with a ‘faster pace,’ where they can use their youth to their advantage (on @SpectrumSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 29, 2017
Walton’s request is a bit surprising since the Lakers are already playing at one of the fastest paces in the league, but the point still stands. With all of the young legs on Los Angeles’ roster, including mobile bigs like Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, and Kuzma, as well as a fast-break wizard in Ball, they should be turning games into track meets whenever possible.
That said, simply playing faster isn’t a cure-all for what ails the Lakers. They need to do a better job hitting their shots, as their overall lack of perimeter threats has been noticeable and a big detriment to their spacing.
The bench, led by Jordan Clarkson, Kuzma, and Randle, has shown flashes of scoring punch, but that hasn’t translated to the starters at this point. If the team can get things on track and find the bottom of the net with a little more regularity they could surprise some teams.