Even though the Lakers re-shaped their roster in their quest to win back-to-back championships, they have still managed to have the best record in the NBA with more than 10 games into the season.
What are the biggest factors in the Lakers’ early success?
New Players Have Fit Perfectly
It took a couple of games, but Marc Gasol is playing at the level that the Lakers expected. His passing ability brought a new asset to the Lakers’ offense. Also, he has been a solid rim protector but has struggled to defend the perimeter logically.
Dennis Schröder has been a great scorer and ball-handler, taking some pressure off LeBron James. He has been the Lakers’ reliable third scorer, something they didn’t have last season. He has been a high energy guy that has also impressed defensively.
Montrezl Harrell hasn’t put up the numbers he did last year, but that’s understandable with all the offensive assets the Lakers have. Still, he has been an effective scorer off the bench and a rebounding machine, as Harrell is putting career-best numbers.
The Starting Lineup Has Been a Success
The Lakers changed two of their five starters from last year’s championship team. Not only did they changed the names, but the characteristics of the players that form it. Los Angeles went from JaVale McGee, a high energy rim-protecting center to Marc Gasol, a high IQ center who can stretch the floor. The other change was going from Danny Green, a 3-and-D shooting guard to Dennis Schröder, a point guard who will bring the ball up and generate offense.
These are big changes for a team that just won a championship and had little time to develop chemistry. However, the team has adapted quickly, and not only does their record reflect it, but some team stats. The Lakers currently rank 1st in defense and 5th in offense, shooting 49.3% from the field (2nd in the league), and 39.6% from 3 (3rd best in the league).
What do you think Lakers nation, where can the team improve the most?
Featured Image: NBC Sports/Sport360