For the second straight night the Los Angeles Lakers came up short and it wasn’t due to their defense. The Lakers held the Jazz to 96 points, but were only able to muster up 81 themselves against a stout Utah defense.
As a team the Lakers shot just 38.3 percent from the field and an abysmal 22.7 percent from three-point range as they were mostly confined to the half court. Lonzo Ball actually hit three of his six attempts from deep, but the rest of the team missed 14 of 16.
Julius Randle also had a down night, finishing with just six points on 2-7 shooting after enjoying a solid run in his new bench role. Afterwards, Randle noted that he believes the Lakers are too stagnant on offense according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Julius Randle: "I don’t think we’re moving the ball, a little stagnant – we’ve got to figure it out.” (on @SpectrumSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 29, 2017
This has definitely been a problem for the Lakers anytime they have been unable to get out in transition regularly. Too often the Lakers wind up going one-on-one with the rest of the players standing around. This is likely why Luke Walton wants the Lakers to keep pushing the ball even more.
With a much shorter training camp and preseason than normal, Walton chose to focus on defense and thus, hasn’t put in too many offensive sets so far. The result has been massive struggles when the Lakers can’t push the ball.
The bench unit led by Randle, Kyle Kuzma, and Jordan Clarkson has fared much better so far than the starters on that end of the floor and the team as a whole looks improved defensively. If the Lakers can figure out their halfcourt offense, the team will truly begin to take a step forward towards contention.