There is something different about this years Lakers team. Last night, the Lakers got a huge win over a quality opponent in the Memphis Grizzlies. The team has a 2-game winning streak and recent games have been very close. Last season, the Lakers struggled mightily in the NBA. The biggest issue was their defense which was dead last in the NBA. This season, the Lakers seem to have a different attitude on the defensive end. Their 5-5 record might not indicate how well they’re doing defensively but they’ve been really solid on that end. Right now the Lakers are ranked 10th in team defense and have a 101.2 defensive rating. To put that into perspective the Oklahoma City Thunder have a defensive rating of 97.6. The Lakers are averaging 79.6% in defensive rebounding, have 83 steals, and 55 blocks. What this means is the Lakers are getting their hands on balls, creating turnovers, and blocking shots. The additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez have attributed to the stats. The Lakers are also using length to their advantage. Ingram and Lopez have bothered opposition shots and getting rebounds. This in turn leads to fast breaks which the Lakers thrive on.
The team defense have the Lakers in close game and very winnable ones. It’s still early in the season, but the team already looks better than they were last season in the defensive categories. If the Lakers can maintain consistency on that end, they will win some games and maybe surprise some people. They have a tough road trip coming up against the Celtics, Wizards, Bucks and Suns. We shall see if the defensive intensity can win them some games.