The Lakers defense has left a lot to be desired this season.
They have an average Defensive Rating of 114, allow 115 points per game and teams are shooting 37.7% from three.
All of this was exposed on Friday's disasterclass performance by the Lakers, when they melted like ice cream on a Texas sidewalk in the middle of the summer, versus the Nets, getting outscored 68-44 in the second half in front of their home crowd.
Lakers decide to give Cam Thomas the Luka trap treatment.— Raj C. (@RajChipalu) January 20, 2024
Another wide open three.
Need way more coordination on these. Pretty sure Ham just yelled at Max to go trap mid play. pic.twitter.com/to6oCYvnfc
Postgame, it was clear no excuses were going to be made for such a pitiful display on the defensive side of the ball.
"Our defense was terrible, in the third quarter especially," Anthony Davis said after the game. "Second half overall but third quarter especially. Once them guys started getting confidence and playing free, it's tough for us to come back, especially when we're missing shots."
This late in the season, with so many blown defensive assignments and the Lakers being unable to stop even the worst teams from shooting lights out, is the team concerned this can't be fixed?
"I wouldn't say concerning," Davis said. "Frustration, for sure. Concern is when you know you're not a good team and you can't do it. Frustration comes from the point where we know what we can do – we've shown it – and we're not doing it. So, it's more frustrating than concerning for me."
Is this a good team?
They've shown signs with good wins against great teams like the Thunder, Mavs and Clippers, but for every good win, there is an equal or worse loss.
It's good to at least hear there is frustration and it's not time to push any panic button, but this late in the season talk isn't going to calm the fanbase. They want to see this team win games and so far this season, they've failed to do so.
There's no easy fix for what ails the Lakers.
It will have to be an all-hands-on-deck approach to turn this season around. That means a potential trade and better performances from role players. Darvin Ham also has to make proper adjustments and optimize his rotations.
There is still enough basketball to play for the Lakers to climb up in the standings and either host a home game in the play-in or avoid it entirely, but they'll have to act fast as time is no longer on their side and soon the math just won't be there for them to turn this season around.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.