The Los Angeles Lakers’ defensive issues are no secret to anyone, including head coach Luke Walton who has been working hard trying to solve the problem.
One thing Walton has stressed to his team is communication. On the defensive end, communication is everything and the Lakers have lacked that with many players being quiet by nature. Even though the Lakers gave up 119 points to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, Walton did like one thing he saw from his team.
Walton said that communication was better, but continued to stress that all five players on the court must be locked in together:
“It was better tonight. Luol [Deng] was great out there talking, some of the other guys out there who have been quiet were talking. But defense takes all five guys, or it takes one really loud voice, we don’t have one really loud voice so we’re going to need all five guys locked in.”
Walton also liked the fact that his team was holding each other accountable for their mistakes:
“There were players getting on each other tonight, which I like; it wasn’t in a negative way, it was to hold each other accountable on what mistakes we were making. There was some progress out there tonight.”
As is the case with many things, there can be progress being made even if the results aren’t being seen immediately. The Lakers still aren’t on the same page, but an increase is communication is the first step towards righting the issue.
As the Lakers get more comfortable with the defensive principles that Walton is trying to instill, things will really begin to come together and an improvement will be seen.
After five straight losses, it can be easy for a team to begin pointing fingers, giving up, and start looking for their own stats. That isn’t the case for this team as everyone sounds intent on turning things around and improving as a team. Walton likes the steps they are making and it should only be a matter of time before everyone sees the difference.
**All quotes obtained by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters