Shootaround Report: Lakers Defensive Problems – Effort or Confusion?

Shootaround Report: Lakers Defensive Problems – Effort or Confusion?


The Lakers defensive unity on Christmas Day, which led to a 100-94 win against the New York Knicks last Tuesday night, squalled the defensive criticisms for about 24 hours time. That was until the Lakers looked slow, confused, tired and undeserving in their 126-114 loss on the road to the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. Dwight Howard’s ejection due to a Flagrant-2 foul call, didn’t make matters better; however, in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s post-game interview on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, he said Howard’s absence meant “not a whole lot.”

In Dave McMenamin’s article on, Howard pointed a few fingers to explain the defensive lapses.

“Guys got to be in the right spots and they have to be taught it and it has to be something that you practice on so guys can understand,” Howard said, visibly frustrated as he spoke. “They have to go through it. You just can’t talk about defense or talk about where to go. You actually have to show guys where to go.”

It sounds like making excuses for defensive struggles continued at shootaround this morning. According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, the Lakers still have differing opinions on pinpointing the source of the Lakers defensive problems.

The Lakers head coach and point guard seem to be on the same page, but the Lakers All-Star center who clearly made a poor defensive play on Kenneth Faried to result in his ejection, isn’t apologizing for his powerful comments. D’Antoni, on the other hand, didn’t acknowledge any truth to Howard’s remarks, and Lakers reporter Mike Trudell only speculated that Howard would probably agree with D’Antoni after watching film.

If the Lakers play well defensively tonight, it will be interesting to see if Howard attributes it to effort or knowledge of the rotations. If he’s smart, he’ll mention both and refrain from pointing any fingers, whether or not the Lakers leave home with a win tonight.


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    WE NEED Demarcus Cousin! Trade Dwight weakazz
    get someone who play hard no excuses and of course fired Dantoni before he brake GASOL knees!

    • Gp

      demarcus is more of a clown the howard, are u stupid?

  • smugbill

    let’s, just for the sake of argument, say that coach d’an is adequate to the offensive task. with all the money paid out for players and head coaches this year, why isn’t a defensive specialist coach hired for the other end of the court? questions about “effort” vs “practice” are spurious philosophical meanderings. what we need is a coach recognized for his ability to produce good defense.

    you bloggers are smart and knowledgeable. why is my suggestion the first time i have heard this? am i way out of line with the way pro basketball works; the way the lakers work?

    • the equalizer

      @smug…mike dantoni and the knicks hired mike woodson in 2011 to be just that….a defensive specialist coach…. its common….there were rumors that Dantoni and the lakes were interested in hiring nate mcmillan to be a defensive specialist. coach..that would be a great hire, but nate wants to be a head coach…..dantoni cares about defense, (all coaches care about defense) his strength is on the offensive end…dantoni is right….defense is about effort…need to rebound, block out, stay in front of your man and hustle…you have to want to play defense ie metta…it take more effort and energy to play good defense than on the offensive end of the court…the lakes showed no effort on dee vs the nuggets and either did howard…farid was out hustling and schooling howard the whole night….hence the flagrant 2…frustration and bs foul by howard..but lets goo lakes 2nite!!!