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View Full Version : Mirage or Reality: Lakers as a top flight defensive team this year?



Chronz
11-27-2009, 07:27 PM
Through 14 games only 2 teams rate higher than the Lakers defensively, (the C's and Cats). They are defending a full 6 points better than league average, if sustainable that rating ranks as good as the Cavs were last year. Coupled with a certain offensive superiority, they should threaten a top 3 placing in the All-Time regular season rankings, this is assuming the offense ever does regain its previous (Top3 form). But thats for another day, regardless of what happens to the offense, are you buying or selling the idea that the Lakers are going to finish the season as a top shelf defensive team.


More importantly in all this, whos most responsible for their early success? Is it the Artest addition, is it Bynums return to form? Odom being a starter again?

sofargone
11-27-2009, 07:30 PM
artest and bynum imo are the reason behind this

JordansBulls
11-27-2009, 07:31 PM
Through 14 games only 2 teams rate higher than the Lakers defensively, (the C's and Cats). They are defending a full 6 points better than league average, if sustainable that rating ranks as good as the Cavs were last year. Coupled with a certain offensive superiority, they should threaten a top 3 placing in the All-Time regular season rankings, this is assuming the offense ever does regain its previous (Top3 form). But thats for another day, regardless of what happens to the offense, are you buying or selling the idea that the Lakers are going to finish the season as a top shelf defensive team.


More importantly in all this, whos most responsible for their early success? Is it the Artest addition, is it Bynums return to form? Odom being a starter again?

Right now it is due to all of the home games. They have played some good teams in Atlanta and Phoenix, but also teams such as Dallas and Houston have beaten them.

We won't know how good they are until they start playing some road games.

Right now 11 home games and 3 road games.

Shady66
11-27-2009, 07:33 PM
Bynum and Artest are the main reasons why.
Bynum especially has stepped up.

Chronz
11-27-2009, 07:40 PM
Yea the cupcake schedule is definitely a factor, Ive seen the Lakers go through this like every year dating back to Shaqs final season. They start the year on fire defensively and then it slowly erodes, though always maintaining a decent level of play.

Lakersfan2483
11-27-2009, 07:42 PM
Having Ron Artest has been a major upgrade to our team defensively, it allows Kobe to roam defensively and create turnovers leading to more easy buckets in transition. The team has definitely turned it up defensively and it's by in large due to signing of Ron Artest and having 2 agile seven footers down low doesn't hurt either.

Lakersfan2483
11-27-2009, 07:47 PM
Pau Gasol is a better defender than a lot of people give him credit for. His on the ball defense is what really impresses me and he has a knack for getting key blocks and or steals in tight game situations. We all know Kobe is a lockdown defender especially when he wants to be, throw in Artest's abilities and Bynum's improved defense and the Lakers have one of the best defensive teams in the league.

Chronz
11-27-2009, 07:50 PM
Pau Gasol is a better defender than a lot of people give him credit for. His on the ball defense is what really impresses me and he has a knack for getting key blocks and or steals in tight game situations. We all know Kobe is a lockdown defender especially when he wants to be, throw in Artest's abilities and Bynum's improved defense and the Lakers have one of the best defensive teams in the league.

Yea but Pau has only been around for a few games this year, if hes as good as we think, shouldnt they improve even more as he gets acclimated? Shouldnt they be the best defensive team in the league?

iggypop123
11-27-2009, 07:55 PM
defense is better cause they are healthy. its obvious but again the sample size is too small. if they have this stats around the all star break the nba shoudl be very scared

Lakersfan2483
11-27-2009, 07:59 PM
Yea but Pau has only been around for a few games this year, if hes as good as we think, shouldnt they improve even more as he gets acclimated? Shouldnt they be the best defensive team in the league?

You bring up a valid point in that the team should definitely improve having Pau back, but it just depends on whether or not the Lakers have the mindset to commit to playing great defense night in and night out. As you mentioned earlier, this type of thing has been going on since Shaq was in LA and when PJ first took over the team. The Lakers started off great last year in terms of their overall effort defensively and fizzled after the last major road trip. They have always been up and down defensively, but manage to turn it up during the playoffs.

rabueed
11-27-2009, 09:11 PM
Yea the cupcake schedule is definitely a factor, Ive seen the Lakers go through this like every year dating back to Shaqs final season. They start the year on fire defensively and then it slowly erodes, though always maintaining a decent level of play.

yeah, that's true, but even knowing they are capable of such great defense keeps me happy. If they can't keep up that kind of defense over 82 games, I can understand because of the rigor of the season. However, knowing they can play this kind of defense means if they step it up for the playoffs defense-wise and perform at ultimate offensive capability, then we're set. :clap:

Hellcrooner
11-27-2009, 09:19 PM
if we start odom and pau and sit the fat dude will probably be one of the best defensive teams now we got ariza

Wilson
11-27-2009, 09:36 PM
Early on it's been the addition of Ron Artest. His physical defense allows Kobe to roam around getting steals (2.1 per game so far this season, 2nd highest of his career). Andrew Bynum has been playing well, and Lamar Odom is a better rebounder than Pau (although both of them will get pushed around sometimes).

I don't expect this high number to keep up. As mentioned above, the Lakers have had a very easy ride so far with the schedule, plus Pau will give up more buckets than Lamar will.

The Lakers also have a tendency to take it easy a lot of the time, and we're deep enough to get away with it. That will lead to us beating second tier teams, but allowing 100+ pts a lot of the time.

However, I am confident that this team can get key stops when they need to in the play-offs. Kobe will lock down on defense when he has to (Ron has for most of the season so far), and Derek Fisher can draw charges and play the passing lanes for some steals (as can Shannon Brown off the bench). As long as Andrew, Pau and Lamar stay focused and compete hard for rebounds, this is a Laker team that can play some very good defense in the play-offs.

ko8e24
11-27-2009, 09:39 PM
Early on it's been the addition of Ron Artest. His physical defense allows Kobe to roam around getting steals (2.1 per game so far this season, 2nd highest of his career). Andrew Bynum has been playing well, and Lamar Odom is a better rebounder than Pau (although both of them will get pushed around sometimes).

I don't expect this high number to keep up. As mentioned above, the Lakers have had a very easy ride so far with the schedule, plus Pau will give up more buckets than Lamar will.

The Lakers also have a tendency to take it easy a lot of the time, and we're deep enough to get away with it. That will lead to us beating second tier teams, but allowing 100+ pts a lot of the time.

However, I am confident that this team can get key stops when they need to in the play-offs. Kobe will lock down on defense when he has to (Ron has for most of the season so far), and Derek Fisher can draw charges and play the passing lanes for some steals (as can Shannon Brown off the bench). As long as Andrew, Pau and Lamar stay focused and compete hard for rebounds, this is a Laker team that can play some very good defense in the play-offs.


I think Artest's defensive intensity actually becomes contagious to the rest. Fish and Artest really get the defense goin, and Kobe is a recipient of a lot of those loose balls (thus avg 2.1 spg) and the Lakers then have a great transition game off of their opponents turnovers. I feel this will continue to happen if Fish and Artest stay healthy.

Wilson
11-27-2009, 09:42 PM
I think Artest's defensive intensity actually becomes contagious to the rest. Fish and Artest really get the defense goin, and Kobe is a recipient of a lot of those loose balls (thus avg 2.1 spg) and the Lakers then have a great transition game off of their opponents turnovers. I feel this will continue to happen if Fish and Artest stay healthy.

Yeah Ron definitely brings a new intensity to this team. It would be great if they can keep up the intensity. This would mean less minutes for Kobe and Pau (so they could be fresher in the play-offs), and more time for us to allow Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and Andrew Bynum to grow.

kblo247
11-27-2009, 10:02 PM
I think it is a mix of all the above.

The schedule helps because it has given them far more practice time early on to integrate Artest.

Having Artest is an upgrade over Ariza and Vlad because Kobe isn't on the best guy and doesn't have to handle the ball offensively. That allows him to be the roamer which he is better at than trevor because he is smarter at his risk taking.

Lamar and Drew starting has something to do with it as well since 2 seasons ago they also played good D together with Drew scoring and LO concentrating on cleaning the glass.

Not to discredit Pau though as he will help us improve defensively in a different way. He is a good weak side shot blocker and post defender and that complements Artest's style even better like when he had JO behind him. Bringing LO off the bench helps matters as he is the best team defender and pick and roll stopper on the team because of how versatile he is and his build.

Phil deserves some credit as well for the PG defense as he is limiting Fish's minutes no matter how the bench plays and as a result Fish has actually defended PGs much better like when he first came back here:


Scoring
Baron Davis (2pts, 1-10FG)
Jason Kidd (2pts, 1-4FG)
Russell Westbrook (12pts, 5-12FG)
Mike Conley (7pts, 3-7FG)
Chris Paul (15pts, 3-8FG)
Steve Nash (13pts, 5-10FG)
Chauncey Billups (6pts, 1-8FG)
Rodney Stuckey (11pts, 3-12FG)

Assists
Davis: 8 AST. 0.8 more than his average.
Kidd: 11 AST. 2 more than his average.
Bibby: 1 AST. 3.4 less than his average.
Westbrook: 7 AST. 0.1 less than his average.
Brooks: 6 AST. 0.3 less than his average.
Conley: 3 AST. 1.2 less than his average.
Paul: 9 AST. 0.2 less than his average.
Nash: 5 AST. 6.9 less than his average.
Billups: 8 AST. 2.1 more than his average.
Brooks: 4 AST. 2.3 less than his average.
Stuckey: 1 AST. 2.8 less than his average.

The bench has had its ups and downs defensively:



29th in fg% (39%) draws 2.6 FTs per game (dead last).

24th in rebounding.

They give up an average of 39.2 points per game (30th).

Opposing benches grab more rebounds than against any opponent

They give up the 3rd most assists

They send opponents to FT stripe 5 times more than they go there (10.2 FTA/game)

Powell, Sasha, and Jordan have struggled defensively when it comes to allowing opponents to break through a layer of the D since Phil is now using a 1-2-2 match up zone in place of Rambis's Amoeba D that required players scrambling like crazy, covering and doubling for one another. When that happens guys scramble around and are forced to adjust but it isn't as much of a problem when Kobe, Ron, and LO are on the floor since they can cover for it. The positives from the bench defensively have been DJ, Luke, and Shannon. Shannon gets into other guards full court, Luke uses his time no matter how much or little roughing up guys to wear them out, and DJ protects the rim with no fear even if it means being put on a poster much like Mihm used too.

Put all of that together and you get this as a team :

#2 in the NBA in FG defense - 42.4%

#2 in 3pt FG% defense as well - 29.2%

# 2 in rebounding - 45.2

#4 in forced turnovers - 16.2

#4 in the league on defense - 97.8 ppg per 100

#5 in steals - 8.6

#8 in ppg - 101.9

#15 in shot blocking - 4.84 (we deter more than we swat)

Will it last is a question that has yet be seen though as you can never anticipate an injury, if a trade may or not happen due to the bench which means you will have to adjust the scheme, or if the players will simply become semi-complacent since they core are vets who have learned how and what it takes to win.

I would like to think they will continue at this level and only get better, but at the end of the day I expect there to be nights where they will simply flip on the switch much like the 3 peat teams to conserve energy for the playoffs.

astrosmaniac
11-27-2009, 10:10 PM
if we start odom and pau and sit the fat dude will probably be one of the best defensive teams now we got ariza

you want to keep bynum in the starting line-up. a big, physical, 7 foot shot blocker in the middle makes a hell of a difference. trust me, im a rockets fan.

Hellcrooner
11-27-2009, 10:19 PM
^not when the dude only cares bout his stats and his number of touches.

ko8e24
11-27-2009, 10:19 PM
I think it is a mix of all the above.

The schedule helps because it has given them far more practice time early on to integrate Artest.

Having Artest is an upgrade over Ariza and Vlad because Kobe isn't on the best guy and doesn't have to handle the ball offensively. That allows him to be the roamer which he is better at than trevor because he is smarter at his risk taking.

Lamar and Drew starting has something to do with it as well since 2 seasons ago they also played good D together with Drew scoring and LO concentrating on cleaning the glass.

Not to discredit Pau though as he will help us improve defensively in a different way. He is a good weak side shot blocker and post defender and that complements Artest's style even better like when he had JO behind him. Bringing LO off the bench helps matters as he is the best team defender and pick and roll stopper on the team because of how versatile he is and his build.

Phil deserves some credit as well for the PG defense as he is limiting Fish's minutes no matter how the bench plays and as a result Fish has actually defended PGs much better like when he first came back here:



The bench has had its ups and downs defensively:



Powell, Sasha, and Jordan have struggled defensively when it comes to allowing opponents to break through a layer of the D since Phil is now using a 1-2-2 match up zone in place of Rambis's Amoeba D that required players scrambling like crazy, covering and doubling for one another. When that happens guys scramble around and are forced to adjust but it isn't as much of a problem when Kobe, Ron, and LO are on the floor since they can cover for it. The positives from the bench defensively have been DJ, Luke, and Shannon. Shannon gets into other guards full court, Luke uses his time no matter how much or little roughing up guys to wear them out, and DJ protects the rim with no fear even if it means being put on a poster much like Mihm used too.

Put all of that together and you get this as a team :


Will it last is a question that has yet be seen though as you can never anticipate an injury, if a trade may or not happen due to the bench which means you will have to adjust the scheme, or if the players will simply become semi-complacent since they core are vets who have learned how and what it takes to win.

I would like to think they will continue at this level and only get better, but at the end of the day I expect there to be nights where they will simply flip on the switch much like the 3 peat teams to conserve energy for the playoffs.


:clap: AWESOME AWSOME POST RIGHT HERE LADIES AND GENTLEMAN.

FANTASTIC ANALYSIS!

Teeboy1487
11-27-2009, 10:57 PM
The lakers do look better defensively this year. Their pick and roll defense was a question going into the season. So far their pick and roll defense has been superb. OT, Portland has look great defensively too. I guess Oden is making a difference. I do not know if the lakers can keep it up, but they do look legit to me. It's on their effort if the want to keep up this defensive level they have been on.

FOBolous
11-27-2009, 11:49 PM
- delete -

Raph12
11-28-2009, 01:38 AM
They finished 6th last season, this season they have added Artest and Bynum has returned healthy to the lineup... I think they'll finish in the Top 5 atleast.

_KB24_
11-28-2009, 01:57 AM
The Lakers are definitely a Top 3 defensive team. I would still give the edge to Boston because they play with MUCH MORE intensity on the defensive end and they sustain that for a full 48 min. We always get sidetracked after playing great D for a quarter or 2.