After their most recent loss to the Utah Jazz, questions about the Los Angeles Lakers’ struggling offense persisted. Head coach Luke Walton believes that part of the issue is the Lakers’ pace and he stated that the team needs to play even faster.
The Lakers already play at the fourth fastest pace in the NBA and it would seem as if their shooting struggles are more of the cause for their offensive issues than a need to push the pace further.
One person who agrees with Walton is rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. After practice on Monday, Ball placed the blame on himself for the Lakers not pushing the ball more via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Lonzo reiterated the need to pick up the pace: "We’re walking the ball up too much…That’s obviously my fault b/c I’m the point guard."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 30, 2017
This is another case of Ball taking responsibility and trying to be a leader. After the Utah loss he put the blame on himself, and even though Walton didn’t agree with it he praised Ball for his leadership in the situation.
At this early stage of the season the Lakers defense is clearly ahead of the offense. The team is currently 11th in the NBA in defensive rating, but 29th in offensive rating. The team has failed to consistently create easy baskets and knock down open shots, particularly in the half court.
The Lakers getting out in transition more would certainly help the offense as the team would get more quick baskets. Coincidentally, it’s their defense that will help with that as getting stops and creating turnovers makes it easier to to get out on the break.
Ball is the player who is best suited to push the pace for the Lakers more, but it will take a team effort to jump start the offense after this sluggish start to the season.