After winning 5 of 6 games to push their record to 6-4, the Lakers have lost 3 of 4 to settle back in at .500 (7-7). Their recent skid is mostly about their defensive decline where they’ve surrendered points in bunches by defending poorly at the point of attack in isolation and in the P&R in the two man game while also continuing their trend of fouling shooters too often. The team has still been in games and continues to battle hard through the final buzzer, but the mistakes they have been making defensively have been the difference and need to be cleaned up.
Considering the types of issues the Lakers have been having defensively, tonight’s game against the Thunder and Russell Westbrook offer a difficult challenge. Westbrook’s ability to get downhill and to the rim is among the best in the league. His relentlessness in attacking is unparalleled and he must be accounted for early in possessions lest you want to see him finish above the rim. He will consistently threaten the paint and if the Lakers do not find a way to bandaid their defensive woes, Westbrook won’t just exploit them, he will drive a wedge into the fissure and crack their scheme wide open.