With only one win in seven games thus far, the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling with their defense being the main area of concern for the coaching staff.
Before the loss to the Miami Heat, Los Angeles is putting 104.3 points per game (fourth in the NBA) but are one of the worst teams in the league in points allowed at 110.7 per contest (29th in the NBA).
Head coach Byron Scott believes the reason for the Lakers problems on the defensive end of the floor is because the squad’s best defenders are also the oldest players on the team, via Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald.
Byron Scott: "Our problem is our two oldest guys guard guys the best." Talking about MWP & Kobe
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) November 10, 2015
It’s not a good sign that two players over the age of 35 are the best defenders on the squad. Although Roy Hibbert has been a sizable upgrade in the paint, the veteran center needs help to get this defense on track and to depend on Bryant and World Peace isn’t going to get it done.
For the majority of their NBA careers, World Peace, and Bryant were considered two of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Metta won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2004 and Kobe earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors nine times throughout his career. Unfortunately, their best days are behind them, and it’s time for the younger players on the team to step up defensively.
D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle have all shown signs of promise throughout the first six games of the season, but the defensive effort has left something to be desired. All three of these promising young players will need to improve on the defensive end of the floor if the Lakers hope to right the ship this season.