The Los Angeles Lakers opened up training camp earlier this week, signaling the beginning of the season for Luke Walton and his team. Entering the season with high expectations and a new roster, the Lakers will attempt to quickly get on the same page and build chemistry towards their first preseason game on Saturday.
During Lakers Media Day, Walton unveiled to everyone that the focus of the first practice and the entire training camp would be defense. The 26th head coach in franchise history is instilling this defensive mindset into his players, with the right atmosphere and attitude around the group.
However, with such a shortened training camp, Walton surely won’t have time to cover everything he and his staff would like to, as they have to make sacrifices for the greater good of the team.
According to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Walton has had zero time to implement any of his offensive principles:
Short training camps present challenges for plenty of teams, including Lakers, who have installed "zero" half-court offense, Walton said.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 29, 2017
Walton is set to run an up-tempo offense with No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball at point guard, already demonstrating his elite basketball IQ to his teammates. The entire team will prosper from a playmaking point guard, with the proper spacing incorporated to the benefit of each player on the court.
The Lakers made some key offseason acquisitions this summer in an effort to provide more offensive stability and defensive awareness on the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez are expected to be integral parts of the offense, with plenty of experience in the NBA and an aggressive skill set to thrive with.
However, without much time to experiment with the offense, it may take a while for the new teammates to acclimate and adjust to their new offense. While learning the offense shouldn’t be rather difficult for NBA players, it does take time to understand their role in the scheme and how they would respond to different options throughout the game. Walton has already earned the respect of his peers around the NBA but will be occupied acclimating his players to the grand scheme during his second official training camp.