One of the biggest struggles for the Los Angeles Lakers last season was defense, as the team’s nucleus was young and inexperienced on that end.
In 2015-16 Los Angeles ranked last in basketball in defensive rating, as they allowed 109.3 points per 100 possessions. They also ranked near the bottom of the league in second chance points allowed at 16.5 per game, which was fourth worst, and 17.0 fast break points per game which was second worst.
With Luke Walton now at the helm, taking over as the team’s head coach, defense will definitely be a focus as training camp and the preseason gets underway.
One of the biggest aspects that the Lakers have to work on at the defensive end is their overall team defense, as with young players it is often difficult to communicate, especially on pick-and-rolls, and help each other out at the defensive end.
At Lakers Media Day on Monday second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell stressed the importance of coming together on defense in order to make things easier on the offensive end:
The more we come together on defense, and wanna make plays, the easier it will be on offense – @Dloading (via @SpectrumSN)
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) September 26, 2016
Russell in particular said he worked a lot of the defensive end this offseason, as he often struggled against quick point guards last season, which the Western Conference is filled with.
Los Angeles begins Training Camp Tuesday in Santa Barbara ahead of their first preseason game which will take place in Anaheim at the Honda Center on Oct. 4 against the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers will open up the regular season on Oct. 26 against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.