Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has preached the importance of defense from the day he was hired and guard Patrick Beverley is the spearhead of that on the court for the team. On Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets, Beverley was matched up for much of the contest with talented All-Star guard LaMelo Ball and he made life extremely difficult.
Beverley totaled three blocks on the night while Ball struggled from the field, hitting just 9-of-22 shots and 3-of-10 from 3-point range. The Lakers also forced Ball into five turnovers in their six-point win over the Hornets.
Following the game, Beverley spoke about being matched up with Ball and Terry Rozier and how fun it was for the Lakers to be able to get in transition because of their work on the defensive side of the ball, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It was fun. Able to get some blocked shots, able to get some stops, get out in transition, game is fun that way. Anytime we get the ball in transition we’re a hard team to beat so that goes with getting stops, getting rebounds, and deflections and all that. When we’re that type of team, I don’t know, for two or three quarters we put ourselves in a position to win a lot of basketball games.”
The Lakers have had their issues defensively on this road trip, but Beverley noted that the team has simply been trying to take things one game at a time and get back to their defensive ways:
“Just trying to get it done defensively. Obviously this road trip we’ve also gave up a ton of points, but we’ve been trying to take it a game at a time. Today we focused on not only getting stops but trying to secure the rebound, limit our turnovers, and I think that we did that today.”
Obviously the team’s defensive prowess has taken a hit without Anthony Davis being on the back line, but the Lakers have been forced to adjust and are continuing to find ways to improve without their star.
The offense of the Lakers may come and go, especially in regard to their outside shooting, but if the defense can remain consistent, it gives the Lakers a chance to beat most teams on any given night.
Patrick Beverley breaks down Lakers’ recent defensive struggles
The Lakers have a clear reason for their defense slipping as Anthony Davis is truly one of the premier defenders in the NBA and losing him will always make a big impact. But even with that Patrick Beverley isn’t making any excuses.
Beverley admitted that losing Davis puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the Lakers defensively, but he still has belief in this team’s ability. Beverley noted that they have shown the ability at times to still defend when they are locked in, stay disciplined, and play with passion and energy.
But when they fail to do so, it tends to result in losses and that margin for error is basically non-existent.
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