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LA’s loss to the Kings triggers alarm that could have LeBron James fuming

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers have been off to a severely underwhelming start, currently sitting at the 7th seed in the west with a 10-11 record. Even more worrying is the fact that the Lakers currently have the 20th best defense in the NBA, this is despite LeBron James and company being the only team so far to have played two matches (after Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons) each against the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, and the Oklahoma City Thunder—the NBA’s three bottom defenses—in their first 22 games. As Tom Haberstroh tweets:

As the Lakers’ defense has ranked in the bottom half of the league despite having arguably the easiest schedule in the NBA, the alarm bells are certainly ringing for LeBron James and company, especially after LA’s recent 3OT loss to the Sacramento Kings. Further, the Lakers have had mixed results even against the aforementioned three worst offenses in the entirety of the league; LA dropped both games against the Thunder (115-123, 104-107), won twice against the Rockets (95-85, 119-117), and have won once so far against Detroit (121-116, second game on Sunday). From this, it can be seen that the Lakers have allowed an average of 109.6 points per game against the the league’s three worst ranked offenses, just slightly better than their average of 114.5 opponent points allowed per game against all teams—of which the 114.5 number puts LA at second worst in the NBA.

While Sunday’s game against Detroit may very well go LA’s way, the point still stands: the Los Angeles Lakers’ defense has been a problem—not for their opponents—but for the Lakers themselves.