The Los Angeles Lakers offense hasn’t been nearly as dynamic as most thought it would be heading into the season. With rookie point guard Lonzo Ball at the helm, the hope was that the Lakers would fly up and down the floor, getting transition baskets and generating open shots with their passing in the half court.
While they are indeed pushing the pace, where they currently rank third in the league, their offense has simply not been efficient. The Lakers are 28th in offensive rating, relying instead on their better-than-expected defense to keep them competitive.
Head coach Luke Walton, however, preached patience when asked about his team’s development on the offensive end. “It’s a work in progress. It’s going to take time,” he recently 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.”
Walton’s attitude about the developing offense accepts the reality that, despite the skilled players on his team’s roster, they are still extremely young. And there’s often a learning curve for young players.
Even veterans on the roster, such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez, are new to the organization this season, and they too need time to acclimate.
“We’ve got a new group of guys, and KCP is obviously a very talented basketball player. It takes time and familiarity to hit your potential at your maximum level,” Walton explained. “We’re still not close to that, it’s only been 20 games in the season. We’re getting better, guys are getting more familiar with each other, and we expect that to continue to grow.”
While the Lakers have struggled offensively, they rank sixth in defensive rating. It’s a massive improvement over last season, when they finished worst in the league in that category.
Although defense has kept them competitive, the Lakers will need their offense to find some semblance of rhythm and success as Wednesday marks the beginning of a difficult stretch in their schedule.
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