Anonymous Coach Serves up Damning Assessment of the Lakers

Carmelo Anthony LA Lakers

Getty Carmelo Anthony of the LA Lakers runs the floor during a game against the New York Knicks.

This is hardly a hot take, but all is not well for the Los Angeles Lakers. Entering Sunday’s bout with the Detroit Pistons, LeBron James’ crew has lost five of its previous seven games. And while one could definitely cite some major officiating gaffes during the team’s latest loss to the Sacramento Kings, that doesn’t ease the pain of losing to an old rival mere days after the club fired its coach.

In any case, the Lakers now have a losing record at 10-11 and currently find themselves in a three-way tie for the No. 8 spot in the West. It’s an incredible turn of events for the team given the title talk before the season, and the reasons for the shortfall are many.

For starters, the Lakers have suffered through multiple key injuries already, including one that rendered James MIA for eight straight games. Secondly, the Russell Westbrook experiment has largely left something to be desired, his recent efforts notwithstanding.

Questions abound regarding Frank Vogel’s coaching of the team, too.

One NBA assistant just offered another assessment of the Lakers’ problems, though. And while it was exceedingly simple in nature, the comment nonetheless stands as a damning appraisal of the team’s current state.


The Ugly Truth?


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When asked by the Los Angeles Times about the Lakers’ recent struggles, a league assistant cut right to the heart of the matter. In their estimation, everything that has gone wrong for the team in 2021-22 can be summed up with just one sentence.

“They’re old and they can’t stay in front of anyone,” they told the Times.

Simple, to the point and biting all at once.

It’s a statement that conjures memories of a recent soliloquy by Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob on what constitutes a winning mix in the Association. Although he didn’t mention the Lakers specifically, Lacob seemingly took a shot at the franchise when he said this about building a championship roster:

You don’t want to be an old, broken-down team and everybody’s old. That’s not going to work… I’m not referring to any particular team. But I’m just saying, if you look through history, actually, all the great teams have had a great young star.

As relayed by the Sporting News, the Lakers entered the current campaign as the league’s oldest squad with an average age of 30. It’s true that overly young teams don’t win championships, but leaning too far in the opposite directions comes with its own problems, as the Lakers are discovering.

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The Struggle Is Real Defensively

As much as the “old” descriptor rings true for this version of the Lake Show, the assistant’s “can’t stay in front of anyone” claim may represent the club’s biggest issue.

After leading the Association in defensive efficiency during the 2020-21 campaign, the Lakers currently sit at No. 18 league-wide in D-rating at 108.8. The Lakers also rank just 22nd in defensive field goal percentage differential.

Although they have been better recently, the Lakers have been particularly bad defensively during the third quarter of games. During the post-break period, the Lakers are getting outscored by 14.3 points per 100 possessions and posting a grisly D-rating of 115.2.

That’s largely on the starters, which speaks to the core that GM Rob Pelinka has built. It’s one that is old and can’t stay in front of anyone.

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