The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a horrid 0-5 start this season despite having Kobe Bryant back and playing surprisingly close to what we saw from him 2 years ago just pre-Achilles injury.
Last year was the worst season in Los Angeles Lakers history, finishing with a 27-55 record and as result of that futile season, Mike D’Antoni was not brought back (technically he resigned.)
While the expectations for this coming season were not high, the addition of defensive minded coach and former Laker great Byron Scott things were to be markedly different on the defensive end which, at least in theory, would keep the Lakers in games. This hasn’t been the case as the Lakers rank at or close to the bottom in every defensive category in the league. The following graphic illustrates just how bad the Lakers have played on the defensive end so far this season in comparison to the rest of the league.
The fan base and many who covered the Lakers demanded D’Antoni’s head on a platter due to his lack of interest in coaching defense and its embarrassing results; however, it doesn’t seem as if Coach Scott, despite his focus and preaching on the defensive end, is faring much better so far this season; in fact, it’s much worse.
We take a look at the Lakers squads from last season and this year at the same point in their respective seasons and compare their results.
While D’Antoni got heavily criticized for the performance of the Lakers team defense team last year, thus far, his team actually fared better defensively than the Scott coach team of this season despite having what appears to be the better roster.
It is still early in the season and there has been improvement from game 1 to game 5 with the current Lakers team. Also, the Lakers were saddled with a very tough schedule to start the season as the 5 opponents they have faced currently have a combined record of 16-4 including two teams that are still undefeated (Houston and Golden State.) Nevertheless, Scott is off to a bad start and will need to improve drastically in order to turn the season around. At the very least, Scott will need to outperform his predecessor, especially on the defensive end which he has surprisingly failed to do thus far.