Magic Johnson claims that for the Lakers to play better overall defense, they need to be better defensively in the 3 main components of defense.
The Los Angeles Lakers have had an extremely rocky start to their 2021-22 NBA campaign as they currently 12-12 on the season. They have had several injuries to deal with along with guys like LeBron James being sidelined for health and safety protocols but what’s concerning is their style of play.
They are boasting a higher defensive rating than their offensive rating with the former being 108.6 while the latter is 106.9. this DRTG would place them in the middle of the pack amongst all 30 NBA teams and It’s understandable as to why they aren’t close to being in the top 10.
The Lakers also give up a substantial amount of points off turnovers as their transition defense hasn’t picked up yet, with them giving up 16.6 points a game. They also rank an abysmal 27th in the league in opponent fast break points at 14.1.
Magic Johnson on what the Lakers can do to improve their defense.
Magic Johnson won 5 titles as a player with the Lakers and has been enveloped into the purple and gold family for nearly half a century now. So, when it comes to what’s best for the 17x world champs, it’s safe to say that Magic knows best.
He most definitely made some great points on what the Lakers could do to make their defense better but laid out a couple extremely obvious pointers that leads fans to believe the ‘79 draftee is saying, ‘To play better defense, you need to play better defense’.
If the @Lakers are going to turn their season around there are 3 things they must do on defense. First, they must play better individual defense. Second, play better team defense and third, transition. They must improve their transition defense!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 7, 2021
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Either way, what Magic Johnson is saying is true (obviously). This team in TinselTown does not have a singular lockdown individual defender with Anthony Davis being the closest to being that guy and given what Shaq and Chuck have said about him, he clearly hasn’t been playing up to the mark on either end of the floor.
The Lakers’ gateway to having at least a top 12 defense by the end of the year is to buy in on team defense. Rotations, managing cuts, keeping an eye on the backdoor; all of these things will lead to tidier defensive possessions for the LakeShow.