Lakers news: A lot has been said about the Los Angeles Lakers’ re-tooled roster as they have surrounded LeBron James with a well-rounded team that can do damage on both ends of the floor. And although head coach Frank Vogel sees the Purple and Gold’s offensive firepower, he would also like them to put the extra effort on defense.
But Vogel isn’t contented with the Lakers playing good on that end of the floor. He wants the team to play smash mouth defense on a nightly basis.
“You’re coming to play L.A. Lakers, you’re going to get hit. You’re going to get smashed in the mouth.”
Last season, the Lakers ranked 12th in the league in defensive efficiency, and Vogel expects that to improve this season, as the team was able to acquire several defensive-minded players during the offseason, including Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, and Avery Bradley. Moreover, they also re-signed JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Rajon Rondo.
“I love guys hitting the floor. We’re not playing hard enough if we’re not doing that, but obviously you don’t want to see anybody getting hurt. You know we got a lot of firepower offensively. But establish that defensive mindset of playing hard and playing tenacious and being physical. And on offense, just beginning to get organized and talking about the importance of playing for each other.”
The Lakers, who missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year last season, have a legitimate chance to not only break that streak, but also to contend for a championship. LeBron, Davis, and Kyle Kuzma are expected to play big roles for the team this season, as they attempt to lead LA to its first title since 2010.
There’s no question that the Lakers have the potential to be one of the best scoring teams in the league in 2019-20, but their individual and collective effort on defense will determine how far they’ll go into the season.
The Lakers’ roster is loaded with talent, and whether or not they can use that to their advantage will be up to them. The potential to be great is there, we’ll just have to see them prove it on the court for the next 10 months.
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