Denny Green, then of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, said it best.
They ARE who we THOUGHT THEY WERE!
The Los Angeles Lakers are now 0-3 and panic mode has set in for the purple and yellow. Things aren’t as bad as they seem, as the Lakers are actually performing pretty well on the offensive ned.
They’re 13th in PPG (97.3), 10th in offensive rating (104.4), 3rd in FG% (49.8) and 9th in 3P% (38.3). Those numbers aren’t off the charts, but they’re pretty good.
It’s what we expected out of the Lakers. We thought they’d be a terrific offensive team that would take a while to gel. On the flip side, the detractors and all but the most jaded Lakers fans knew that defense would be a struggle.
A struggle is very accurate.
First, the Lakers can’t wait to get the ball back to the other team. They’re dead last in turnover percentage. So, they’re playing more defense than they have to.
Second, they are 27th in points allowed (106.7) and are 28th in defensive rating (114.4). Those numbers are beyond terrible and it will be impossible to win if they don’t improve.
To be fair, the Lakers haven’t gotten much of a chance to play together. They’ve only played one full regular season game with Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash on the court. It’s foolish to expect them to have much chemistry without being able to put in the time.
Those injuries that have hampered them and prevented them from being on the court have also slowed them in the short time they’ve been on it. It’s obvious that Howard isn’t healthy and isn’t playing to his potential. Nash is averaging 4.5 points and is shooting just 33.3 percent. That’s not going to continue.
Even though the Lakers are fresh off of being thrashed in three consecutive games in which they were solidly behind in all of them, it’s not quite time to go crazy.
This isn’t a condensed season where 16 games are shaved off the top. It’s an 82-game season, and there’s plenty of time to right the ship. First, they need to get healthy. Then, they need to develop chemistry. Get back to the Lakers in a month. They’ll struggle until then, but they’ll have the last laugh.
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