Report Card Grades for Every NBA Team Entering 2016-17 Season’s Midway Point
— NBA World (@NBAWorldNewz) January 10, 2017
Los Angeles Lakers: B-
Semilofty expectations attached themselves to the Los Angeles Lakers after the first 20 games of the season—ambitions that have mostly faded.
Los Angeles’ offense is oft-electric but scores with below-average efficiency. Speed, occasional hot hands and a starting five that specializes in getting buckets help mask turnover woes and general inefficiency.
Only the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers forfeit more points per 100 possessions. The Lakers don’t allow a ton of easy looks relative to the rest of the league, but they give up more wide-open threes than the Sixers and are 29th in defense at the rim.
Youth takes time to marinate, though. Many of the Lakers’ most important players are under 25, and five of their six highest-volume lineups defend with top-10 stinginess. Finishing the season above .500 is out of the question, but this group is on pace to almost double last season’s win total.
And it hasn’t plummeted out of the West’s (ugly) race for the No. 8 seed.
This Lakers outfit, growing pains and all, offers peace of mind for the future—a byproduct of the Luke Walton era that more than deserves a passing grade.