The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 season hasn’t gotten off to the start they had hoped as they have really struggled on the defensive end, particularly in the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in when they blew a 26-point lead.
While the loss was frustrating to everyone, it’s important to remember that the Lakers are a brand new team and still figuring out how to play together.
Because of that, Rajon Rondo revealed they had an extra film session on Friday morning ahead of the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers to address some things after the rough loss to the Thunder.
“I always believe you can learn from every game. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on how poor we played… Basketball Gods didn’t allow us to get that W. We got a good session this morning about it,” Rondo said.
“Frank [Vogel] usually does film sessions I guess prior to a loss on game day, but we did. It’s too early in the season, we have too much to learn from it, so we had a 30-minute session on our last game. Things we can improve on defensively and continue to learn one another.”
As far as the Lakers improving defensively, Rondo believes the Lakers will do so, but it will take time.
“We’ll get there. I just think there’s so many different personalities and so many old habits that has come into this system and learning new things, new ways. When you got a habit your entire career, it’s hard to break those habits. Right now, with film and showing guys what they do on film, that’s one thing I love about film is that it doesn’t lie. It shows your flaws, it shows your bad habits and it’s going to take time to break those habits.
“As long as guys have the right mindset and they want to want to get better and understand what it takes to win a championship, that’s when guys will make a stride… We just got to figure out how to protect each other on the court and weaknesses of areas of our game and cover up those weaknesses and play to our strengths.”
Considering the Lakers have given up at least 115 points in all of their games, it is clear there are still adjustments to be made on that end. Part of it is getting all of their personnel back as LeBron James, Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker, who they are counting on to be plus defenders, have all missed time so far.
Vogel is known to be a defense-first coach though, so there is no doubt he will be committed to improving on that end of the floor moving forward.
Rondo not yet sure how Lakers will respond to bad loss
Considering the fashion it happened in, it’s possible the Lakers will not suffer a worse loss this season than the one to the Thunder. When asked if he’s confident that they will respond well though, Rondo gave an honest response.
“It’s too early to tell. Played what four games? Four or five. It’s too early,” he concluded.
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