The Leap Forward to the Same Spot

There’s a Jay-Z rap lyric I’ve always liked a lot. The Brooklyn born husband to Beyoncé says, simply, “life’s like a treadmill n***** runnin’ in place”.

On Monday I wrote a piece about where the Lakers stand after 10 games by looking at 10 stats which interested me. There were all kinds of numbers in there — numbers about the team’s 3-point shooting accuracy, how well they play in transition, their defensive rebounding woes, and how this team has a better offensive and defensive efficiency in the 134 minutes LeBron James has been off the floor than the 351 minutes he’s been on it.

Read that last part again.

These are small samples and from the season’s first 10 games no less, but early trends are not meaningless either. The Lakers look like a very good but not great offense (which thrives in open court situations and gets by on talent rather than scheme in the half court) and a sub-standard defense. Compare that to last year’s team which was a good but not great defense (which thrived on young legs, some veteran smarts, and enough versatility to switch and hang tough regardless of supposed mismatches) and a sub-standard offense.

These early season Lakers look like a team that has leaped forward with the acquisition of James, but somehow landed in the same spot.

Life’s like a treadmill…