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Lakers coach Luke Walton says team embracing ‘type of energy’ needed to be good defensively

Luke Walton

During the blowout win over the Detroit Pistons on Halloween, the Los Angeles Lakers played extremely well on both ends of the floor. The team was locked in defensively which carried over to the offensive end of the floor to the delight of head coach Luke Walton.

After practice on Wednesday, Walton talked about his team’s effort defensively and how he believes this young Lakers squad is starting to understand what it takes to sustain that level of play.

“I think as a group we’re starting to understand what type of energy we have to play with on that end, and how hard it is to be a good defensive team and how locked in you have to be,” Walton said. “I think we’ve shown spurts of it, but I really think over these last three to four games, they’re starting to understand that and they’re starting to embrace it which is a good thing. It’s a great thing for being able to sustain that type of effort. They seem to be enjoying that challenge, so hopefully, that’s a trend that continues.”

Although the Lakers are coming off the best all-around performance of the season, Lonzo Ball and company have yet to prove they can play at that level consistently. The team has lost four out of the seven games they’ve played thus far, but have shown progress little by little as this new group learns how to play together within Walton’s system.

On Friday, Walton’s squad will go up against one of the best backcourts in the NBA. The Lakers will head-to-head against Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as they try to make it two straight with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on the road.