The Los Angeles Lakers are mired in a six-game losing streak, but that’s not what concerns head coach Luke Walton. After all, the Lakers have a young team that isn’t expected to win much right now, and given the top-three protected status of their first-round pick, it’s probably for the best that they lose anyway.
However, that doesn’t mean that Walton isn’t looking to improve his squad, and one of the areas that he is hoping to see progress in is the team’s pace. According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Walton citing their youth as a reason why they should keep their foot on the gas pedal:
“We want to begin our offense with 19 or 20 seconds still on the shot clock,” Walton said. “We’re a young team. There’s no reason for us to walk the ball up court and try to methodically go about our business.”
The Lakers are currently seventh in the league in pace, but Walton believes that getting into their offense a little sooner will be beneficial. Such a goal does make sense, as a young team needs as much time as possible to find good looks.
Getting things started earlier, as Walton prefers, gives the Lakers more of an opportunity to move the ball and get everyone involved. It also lessens the possibility of someone having to go one-on-one with the shot clock winding down and forcing up a bad shot because of it.
The ability to play at a faster pace ultimately falls on the shoulders of the point guard and Walton is satisfied with how D’Angelo Russell has played recently. Ultimately the Lakers lack a player who can consistently score, as well as knockdown shooters, so creating more possessions due to a higher pace is likely the team’s best option at maintaining an acceptable NBA offense.