Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton was pleasantly surprised when his team took the floor for practice on Monday, looking ‘crisp’ after a day off. Prior to practice, he just finished telling one of his assistant coaches Miles Simon (new to coaching in the NBA), that practice following a day off is usually pretty sloppy, so Walton was very pleased.
Walton was also ‘thrilled’ with how they played in Utah, despite their loss to the Jazz, saying that they gave themselves plenty of chances to win on their second night of a back-to-back.
Lonzo Ball shouldering a lot of blame for the loss was a hot topic of conversation at practice. On Saturday night, Ball blamed himself for not boxing out Donovan Mitchell, as well as committing a crucial turnover in the final minutes. It was something that his teammates could feel and something that Walton talked about.
Check out our notes below and hear from Ball, Walton and Jordan Clarkson in our videos.
Walton on Lonzo taking blame after loss to Utah: “It’s not his fault we lost. It’s not on him that we lost that game, he did a lot of things very well too.”
Walton on Lonzo: “I think one of the great things about him is that he’s very honest. Even when he talks to the media, he doesn’t give long answers, and he speaks what he feels and he speaks his truth.”
Walton on Lakers defense being ahead of the offense: “Defense wins championships…Offense will come when we’re ready for it, the fact the defense is holding us in games, I love that.
Lonzo on pushing the pace: “The pace has been a little bad lately… More pace, run on makes and misses, I feel like we’re walking the ball up too much, and that’s obviously my fault because I’m the point guard.
Lonzo on whether he is satisfied that the Lakers are ranked in 11th in defense: “Always want to climb up as high as you can, not satisfied at being 11.”
Clarkson on the Lakers defense being better this year: “I feel like guys are taking it a little more personal, just because we were terrible in defense last year.”
Clarkson on whether offensive and defensive rankings matter to him: “I mean numbers don’t lie. Warriors were the no. 1 offense and no 1 defense the year they won the championship.”
– The Lakers are currently ranked 11th in defensive net rating and 29th in offensive net rating
– Walton wants the Lakers to push the pace, as in push the ball everytime down the court (never walk the ball up), but he does not want them to rush shots
– Lonzo says defensively he’s learning to go over screens a lot better
– Lonzo rented out Dave and Buster’s for his birthday and Jordan Clarkson said he lost $200 to Lonzo’s brother LaMelo in Pop-A-Shot
– Kyle Kuzma was limited in practice (left hip contusion), but is expected to play Tuesday
– The Lakers are ranked 4th in pace of play