There’s no hiding the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers were terrible on the defensive end of the floor the last few seasons, as they ranked dead last in the league in defensive rating the last two seasons and 29th out of 30 teams the season before that.
So far this season, the Lakers are 2-4 but they have been much better on the defensive end of the floor, as they rank 11th in defensive rating.
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson commented on what he believes changed on that end of the floor this season, crediting his teammates for taking that end of the floor more personal, via the Lakers official Twitter account:
“I feel like guys are taking a little bit more personal just because we were terrible in defense last year. And then even the schemes, principles, stuff we put in this year, a lot of it is different so it’s definitely starting to come around for us. We’re definitely starting to see some growth in that area.”
Clarkson also added that the players’ comfortability with each other and communication is also playing a big factor in the improvements:
“We definitely could feel it. The level of comfortability with everybody, speaking and communicating on that side makes everything easier.”
The Lakers poor record has more to do with their struggles offensively, as they rank 29th in the NBA on that end of the floor. While that is an issue that needs to be addressed, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he is happy that the team’s defense is ahead of their offense, as that could easily be fixed if guys start knocking down shots.
Ultimately for the Lakers to be successful offensively, they want to get out in transition and run, which starts with getting stops on the defensive end of the floor so the Lakers are headed in the right direction in regard to that.