Where do the Lakers go from here?

A devastating series of 4th quarter collapses have shone a harsh spotlight on the Lakers’ young core and head coach Luke Walton

  1. Luke needs to stop trying to make Brandon Ingram something he is not. Brandon’s strength and upside are as an elite wing defender who can be a secondary scorer and playmaker rather than a primary scorer and closer. He needs to learn to play and score off the ball to complement LeBron. It’s time for Luke to recognize and Brandon to realize trying to force him to be a go-to scorer is hurting him, the team, and his chances to fit with LeBron.
  2. The Lakers need to get back to pushing the pace and getting easier looks, especially in the fourth quarter when other teams try to slow them down. Since LeBron went down, we haven’t been running on made baskets and have been walking the ball up rather than forcing teams to backpedal. We need our wings to run to the corner to open up lanes for easy layups. Right now, we’re missing shots and turning over the ball due to poor spacing.
  3. Luke needs to force players to run plays rather than reverting to hero ball. That will require he and his staff to create a set of plays that can generate the types of wide open shot opportunities that will encourage teamwork. While pick-and-roll based offenses work great with LeBron or Rondo, the rest of the team need to be running some form of a read-and-react motion offense with weak side action to keep everybody involved in the play.
  4. The Lakers need to trust their defensive schemes and stop over helping, especially off corner threes. Stop ignoring the analytics and allowing defenders to leave opposing players open in the corners. Help on drives from the wings has to come from the bigs and rim protectors, who have to trust rotation help when opposing guards or wings penetrate the paint. The Lakers’ defenders need to get on the same page and trust each other.
  5. The Lakers need to hire a shooting coach to help with the free throw woes. Having players record their efforts on a sign up sheet or one of the existing assistant coaches take over the role of shooting coach is not the answer. There are qualified free throw shooting instructors out there who have proven track records for helping teams and players dramatically improve their free throw percentages. This is a move that has been long overdue.

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LakerTom

LakerTom

Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of Lakerholics.com, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.