Lakers’ Lack Of Defense Sets Franchise Low

It’s been a rough go of things for the ever-popular Lakers early in the season, but nowhere has it been as bad as their defense.Russell Westbrook

In fact, they are surrendering more than 115 points per game through the first five games, “the longest streak to start a season in franchise history,” wrote Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, citing ESPN Stats & Info.

That includes surrendering 123 points to the Thunder in a 123-115 loss, a game in which the Lakers blew a 26-point lead in Russell Westbrook‘s OKC return. (Westbrook, by the way, was ejected.)

Granted, the previous two games came without LeBron James, out with a sore ankle. But even when James played, the Lakers’ defense was fairly porous. 

“The Lakers entered play with a 230-0 record (including playoffs) when leading by at least 25 points in a game over the last 25 seasons,” ESPN Stats & Info shared in a tweet. “They led by 26 tonight, their largest blown lead over that span.”

Overall, the Lakers are 2-3, with one win coming over the Grizzlies by three points at home, and the other coming on the road over the Spurs in overtime. So even the wins haven’t been that impressive.

Instead, the Lakers have looked old (they are), slow and lacking an ability to defend anyone for long stretches. 

Granted, it’s been just five games and their are 77 more. And LeBron-led teams tend to play their best basketball when it means the most.

But right now, the defense is showing reasons for concern. There’s really no other way to spin it.

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