Los Angeles – The Lakers looked different with LeBron James. That was always to be expected, given the caliber of player James, but the change, especially as much as they happen, was blatant.
James is hardly a ball pig. Let's get this out of the way, because that's not the conclusion to draw from it. If you want to take such pictures, you can click here .
But without the normal engine of their offense, the Lakers were forced to diversify their attack. The team strikes the ball on the ground and looks together for weak points in the defense of the opponent, as they were not or did not have before.
In the three games since James went down against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers made the third-lowest passes in the NBA (267.2) at 302, which ranked 1
Lakers head coach Luke Walton says it's no coincidence. He believes that his team will have to do more without James to use his incredible gravity to create easy opportunities for others.
"Of course, LeBron is the dominant player he is. He can win double teams and manipulate matchups and give us great shots, "said Walton. "When we were successful with these guys last year, we played fast and we moved the ball and everyone made games and we have to go back there."
Walton believes the team has "done a pretty good job in recent games", but before anyone runs away with the snack "THE COUNTRIES ARE ALWAYS ALREADY WITH THE LEBRON", it is worth noting that these additional Passes & # 39; It actually correlated with a better offense.
In the season, the Lakers scored 108.7 points per 100 possessions, the 17th best mark in the NBA in the three games since the fall of James Number (as expected) declined, with the team scoring 107.2 points per 100 possessions during this period.
"Lakers' offense worse without LeBron James " 19659012] is actually not a surprising headline unless you are an idiot, but it must be mentioned that people do not run away with the idea that the team on this side of the ground was better off without its star.
But it's still a w The goal is to reach the passing game with James, and it could be a way to improve the game that the team has shown with him in the lineup. The team can bring James back and try to balance their current playing style with his playing style To find James.
"We want guys to attack and shoot when they're open, but if you decide we want the ball to move," Walton said. "We will continue to encourage that, and with what we have now, we are best if that is the case."
So why were not the Lakers over? In addition to the obvious conclusion that James creates gaping wounds in the defense and makes it less necessary to search for small openings with ball movements, Brandon Ingram revealed a simpler reason, as he spoke about passing the team against the kings and if it was something special was highlighting the victory.
"Every night we pass the ball and get the best shots for our team, the emphasis is increased," Ingram said, before smiling and continuing, "I do not think we always do that, because of course we do Want to score basketball.
Young players who feel that they need to score to be effective because they have been successful at all levels are all too often ignored. However, in analyzing such things, Lakers guard Josh Hart explained why shooters like Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are much more dangerous if they actively move the ball if they should.
When guys approach them and they're aggressive and able to hit the open man, it makes defense much harder, "Hart said. "If you try to double them and make them the right pass and matches, and we score points, the defense will not allow you to double them.
"Then they can have one-to-one interviews, and that's the matchup they like."
Walton believes the Lakers can find the balance between the two game styles, as they do not necessarily require the passing game more . You just have to make the correct passes and let the rest take care of themselves.
"When you play with tempo and transfer it to the next open type, especially the way many teams guard us where they load the paint, you'll have open teammates. If you catch it and are open, let it fly, and if you do not pass it on to someone else, Walton says. "If you keep this up, the other team's defense will be under pressure."
And if the Lakers can push the defense into the paint with lightning-fast, egalitarian passing and James's own clubs to make room, they might even have considered more dangerous offensive teams than many would have thought possible. That's why it pays to see if they can go on as they did with James, and if they can find a middle ground on their return.
All quotations are first-hand unless otherwise stated. To Speak More About Lakers, Subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll Podcast Feed on iTunes Spotify Stitcher or Google Podcasts , All statistics according to NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com . You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen .