The Los Angeles Lakers have a league-best 19-3 record, their best start since de 2008-09 season that ended in the 15th championship of the franchise’s history.
Clearly, the team isn’t perfect, so where can the Lakers improve?
Let’s start with some positive statistics. With 22 games played, they are 6th in offensive rating, 4th in defensive rating and 2nd in NET rating. Defensively they are also 5th in steals and first in blocks. The Lakers also are 5th in opponent 3 points and field goal percentage, all stats per basketball reference.
So, where can they improve?
If we talk specifically about defense, there is only one category that isn’t above league average, which is opponents Fastbreak points, where they are 28th. This problem may be the consequence of another team problem, which is the turnovers. The Lakers are 18 in the league in turnovers, which is below average. If the team is able to improve in these categories they can be even more dominant, even though right now they have the best record in the league.
Now, if we go away from statistics and focus on the eye test, one thing that the team has lacked so far is a consistent 3rd scorer. This role was supposed to be for Kyle Kuzma, but his year has been stained with injuries and inconsistency. If Kuzma is able to find a rhythm and regularity, the team would benefit drastically from it. Kuzma is averaging just 7.7 points per game since November 19, where his eye injury happened.
Thankfully for the Lakers, his slump hasn’t affected the team’s winning, but now that the Lakers are going to face one of the toughest parts of their schedule, this would be the right time for Kuzma to step up his game.
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