Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers may be playing better offensively, but no one on the Lakers has been playing any defense lately
As the Los Angeles Lakers slowly slip into oblivion and continue their free fall down the standings, we thought it would be a good time to look at some numbers and make sense of what all is happening with the Lakers.
2014: Pau Gasol may be battling a moderate sprain in his toe and a lingering chest infection, but the Spaniard has renewed his form in the New Year. Gasol is averaging 19.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 blocks in seven games this calendar year. Even with all that, the Lakers are only 1-6 since the ball dropped.
20: On Wednesday, Jordan Hill returned to the starting lineup and Robert Sacre was sat on the bench for 48 minutes. This shift meant the Lakers had started 20 different starting lineups in 39 games. On average, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has had to shift lineups and try new combinations every other game. A great deal of these shifts derive from the overbearing injuries.
18: Chris Kaman scored 18 points in 16 minutes for the Lakers in Wednesday’s loss. After missing 17 games due to injury and the coach’s decision, the Lakers’ center has consistently received 10-20 minutes per game in the last four contests. Kaman’s impressive performance on Wednesday should see the 31-year-old earn more time over the remainder of the Lakers’ road trip.
120.7: The Lakers have lost 12 of the last 13 games. In 11 of those 12 losses, the Lakers allowed their opponents to score over 100 points. In the lone victory, the Lakers held the Jazz to under 100 points. Without complicating the issue, it is safe to say the Los Angeles Lakers stand a better shot when they play defense and hold their opponents under 100 points. During the current six-game losing streak, the Lakers have allowed 120.7 points per game. Yes, that is an average, and that is appalling.