The Los Angeles Lakers' defense is horrible. Again. They're allowing 105.7 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com, which is bottom-five in the league currently. The worst part? After reviewing every three-point attempt taken against them, that number should be significantly worse.
There are several issues with the Lakers' defense, but watching every possession play out made it glaring just how many open threes the team gives up every night. For the most part those open attempts have rimmed out, yet despite the luck of the bounce on those bad defensive possessions, the Lakers still only have two wins on the year.
The defense is constantly collapsing into the paint as a team, leaving players on the perimeter so open they have enough time to make sure their feet are behind the line. D'Angelo Russell, Metta World Peace, Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams are the biggest culprits of ball-watching and drifting into the paint. It's not solely on that group, but their decision making is being put to the test by teams and they're failing currently.
This is a example of the kind of mistakes we're seeing often from Russell:
And more of the same from Lou:
With these types of problems happening routinely, it was time to go through the entire film reel to see what was what. It became clear the Lakers struggle most when they're forced to move and rotate against pick-and-rolls, opening up easy drive-and-kick lanes for ball-handlers.
Here are my findings in full film breakdown form:
It's clearly a team-wide issue, but it's hard not to call out the guards when it's often their turned heads getting swiveled. The Lakers' inability to defend the three-pointer against pressure from ball-handlers is compromised because of poor team and individual decisions, ball-watching and getting caught digging down for no reason.
Frankly, it's a miracle teams have only shot 31.1 percent from deep against them so far.