Numbers show just how bad the Lakers have been this season
Just how bad are the Los Angeles Lakers?
Well, besides starting the season 1-7, which is tied for the second-worst record in the league, the team has managed to trot out the league's second-worst defense and a bottom-10 offense. Frankly, there is nothing they're doing well right now, and not much hope that things will change anytime soon.
Playing Lou Williams over D'Angelo Russell may upset Lakers fan, but that's not a major issue — Williams is probably the better player by a slim margin, but neither player will change the team's fortunes this season.
The bigger issue is the roster construction — the Lakers simply lack talent — and, to an extent, Byron Scott's schemes.
Over at Silver Screen and Roll, Harrison Faigen dove into the team's stats and figured out just how bad they've been:
Read the rest of the numbers here.
5- The number of consecutive seasons Lakers head coach Byron Scott will have coached a team in the bottom-five in defensive efficiency if the Lakers' current 29th ranking holds. The Lakers are currently giving up 108.8 points per 100 possessions, and not all of that is on Scott. The Lakers lack any standout defenders outside of Roy Hibbert, and try as he might, one man cannot plug all of the leaks that spring up throughout the game on a roster filled with young, mistake-prone players and aging veterans. This is the biggest on-court problem the Lakers currently face to keep them from getting wins, and will likely be the main factor sinking them this season.
20- The Lakers' ranking among NBA offenses. If a team has the second worst defense in the league, they are going to have to score like gangbusters every night to be competitive, and that has not been the case so far for the Lakers, who are currently scoring 99 points per 100 possessions. A bottom-five defense combined with a well below average offense has led to the Lakers being outscored by 9.8 points per 100 possessions, the third worst Net rating in the NBA.
96- The total minutes played by the Lakers' most used lineup, their preferred starters of Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, and Hibbert. The problem is, this lineup has the second worst defensive rating (112.9) of groupings that have played more than 10 minutes. To say this grouping is not getting it done on the offensive end of the floor would be an understatement, scoring just 88.9 points per 100 possessions.
There are a myriad of reasons for this, one being the atrocious shooting of Bryant (32%, second worst on the team) combined with his usage rate (28.2%, highest among players playing over 10 minutes a game). Bryant is also taking 8 three-pointers per game (highest on the team) while shooting just 20.8% from distance (third lowest percentage on the team among players who have made a three). This should be obvious, but if the lowest efficiency player on a team's roster uses the most possessions, that is bad, especially if it is compounded by that player being arguably the worst defender among the team's starters. Bryant is a Lakers legend, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, and the team's highest paid player. But if the team continues to allow him to use such a high percentage of it's possessions whenever he returns from his back injury, they are going to be very bad this year, there is just no way around it.