The Los Angeles Lakers are never down for long, so an 0-2 start to this NBA campaign is hardly anything to overreact to. There have been many teams historically that seemingly struggle during pre-season only to capture their true form once the “real” games begin. The Lakers have endured an 0-8 pre-season and have now dropped their first two regular season games to an undermanned Dallas team and a plucky young Blazers squad respectively.
Dating back to last season’s playoff exit at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers are now 0-12 since May 18 this year.
Again, two games into a regular season is no time to panic however the off-season changes within appear to be taking some time to get used to. Alongside the marquee additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Lakers have also welcomed another five new faces.
The Lakers have also brought in assistant coach Eddie Jordan to implement the “Princeton offense” which in most cases, is an offensive structure designed to give a team with less talent more chances to score. It relies on drawing would-be defenders to certain spots on the floor and with good screening and passing, enables easy scores from relatively close to the basket in most cases.
One could imagine the current Charlotte Bobcats team (who with all due respect, are lacking some talent) using this offensive structure against well, a team like the Lakers.
In LA’s first two regular season games it is fair to say that a number of players have looked lost on the offensive end. A player like Steve Nash for one is probably asking himself when the pick ‘n’ roll will be implemented? Nash is renowned for his ability to control the offensive end via the pick ‘n’ roll, a weapon few will be able to stop with Pau Gasol or Howard rolling to the basket.
The biggest problem for the Lakers right now though appears to be their defense. No one is covering each other and the communication seems to be very, very poor. On numerous occasions against Portland, the ball was rotated to open shooters behind the three point arc with ease. Switching on screens was rough to say the least, illustrated in the video below where Nicolas Batum smashes one home on Dwight Howard.
Are the Lakers going to snap out of it soon? Or will they be 0-3 after facing the Clippers at home on Friday night?
There’s definitely some teething issues in Tinseltown and whatever happens, Laker fans will be hoping for a lot less of this: