The Los Angeles Lakers have had their share of struggles on the offensive end of the floor this season, and a lot of that can be attributed to their youthful lineup.
Rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have been asked to shoulder much of the offensive burden, with the former leading the team in assists and the latter in points. Even veterans Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez are new to the organization and must learn head coach Luke Walton’s offense on the fly.
The team spent much of their training camp working on defense, and while those efforts have led to the Lakers currently ranking sixth in defensive rating, their offense lags far behind. “I think it’s coming along good,” Jordan Clarkson said of the offense.
“Everybody is kind of finding their spots. What’s crazy is a different person can go off any night. It’s a little different and a lot of guys are getting used to that and just knowing that’s the game flow and how it’s going to be on this team.”
As Clarkson notes, the Lakers offense doesn’t necessarily have a go-to scorer. One night it may be Kuzma leading the team in scoring, another it may be Julius Randle, Clarkson, or Caldwell-Pope.
In the long run, that kind of unpredictability may benefit the team since opponents can’t focus on stopping just one of two players. Additionally, their lack of set plays may eventually have a similar effect.
“A lot of our offense is kind of free flowing, to be honest with you”, Clarkson explained. “We run set plays from the side, maybe when they score, or out of timeouts. But not too many set plays for us. Coach wants to give us the reins on offense to try and do what we can.”
The Lakers have a long way to go in all aspects of the game, but they have shown flashes of brilliance where the ball moves and they generate open looks, and Clarkson agrees.
“When we start getting it flowing, passing and moving, I feel like that’s when we’re at our best.”
With roughly a quarter of the season gone, the Lakers will hope that their offense can find a way to gel quickly. Walton expressed optimism, if not confidence, there would be improvement.
“It’s a work in progress. It’s going to take time,” he said. “We like the direction it’s moving, but it’s one of those things that’s going to take time and reps, and guys playing together to get better and better. We’ll continue to do that, and how long it will take, time will tell.”
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