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The Lakers better fix their defense if they want to win a championship

The Lakers

When the Los Angeles Lakers made the trade for Russell Westbrook, they had only one goal in mind and that is to win a championship. They can still do that because they have some of the best players in the NBA in Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and a decent supporting cast.

When the Lakers won the title in 2020, they had the league’s best defense. That will not be the case this year but in order to have a shot, they need to try to get similar personal to replicate their elite perimeter defense that year.

So far this season their defense has been absolutely horrendous.

The Lakers have given up at least 115 points in their five games this season. That is a franchise record. They are dead last in points allowed giving up 119 points per game. In their loss on Wednesday against the youngest team in the league in the Oklahoma City Thunder, they made history for the wrong reasons.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, The Lakers entered play with a 230-0 record (including playoffs) when leading by at least 25 points in a game over the last 25 seasons. They led by 26 tonight, their largest blown lead over that span.

They gave up 78 points combined in the second and third quarters. This is unacceptable for a team that is trying to win a championship. When the Lakers built their roster, there were a lot of skeptics that were concerned about the age of the players they were signing.

A big issue for the Lakers is they have a surplus of guards that are not great defenders. They really only have one big wing defender in Trevor Ariza, who is out right now. They have to address this issue as soon as possible via trade or cutting guys and replacing them with the right personnel.

The good news for the Lakers is they have a lot of time left in the season to make these necessary changes and have one of the best defensive coaches in the league in Frank Vogel. Also, they are missing two of their best perimeter defenders in Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker so the defense should get better when they come back. It will prevent the Lakers from playing some of the lineups they have right now. Even though Ariza and Horton-Tucker will help the Lakers better not think they solve all their defensive issues.

Rob Pelinka has done a solid job as an executive for the Los Angeles Lakers. This year will be the biggest challenge he has had yet. He did a great job addressing the team’s biggest need in the offseason by trading for Russell Westbrook. Now he must address the lack of depth of really good perimeter defenders. Pelinka elected not to make a trade the past two seasons when he should have. This year he needs to and make some cuts to address the defense or else the Lakers will fall short because Vogel can only do so much with this current roster.

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