With the NBA season only a week away, we are officially in the “season preview” portion of the year. Everyone is putting on their forecasting hats and trying to figure out exactly what is going to happen with the league.
One of the best preview guys out there is Nate Duncan, who recruits guys who cover each NBA team to come on his Dunc’d On podcast for a season outlook discussion. Nate is one of the smartest guys out there — so you might question why he had me come on to talk about the Lakers — and we had a good discussion on the Lakers — the off-season changes, the progress of the young players, and more.
Thanks to Nate for having me on. You can follow him on twitter here and get all his podcast stylings here. Click through below to listen to our discussion.
Travis Y says
Duncan recognizes analysis when he reads it. Glad to hear you on the podcast.
As the season is on the cusp, some of the areas I’d like us to address are ball movement, hard screens, and effort on the defensive end.
Russell is on the cusp of an offensive break out season. However, there are times when he fixates on just scoring. The original Isiah Thomas said the key for him as a point guard on the Pistons was to take what the defense gives you. They know you’re a scorer, once you score then it opens up the passing lanes. The NBA has changed, but the principle stays the same. As the point guard you need to get your teammates going offensively. That translates to more effort on the defensive end as well as harder screens, rebounding, and transition defense.
Ball movement is another problem for Randle, who holds onto the ball. He needs to make a quick decision in 1.5 seconds, but often holds onto the balls and kills the flow. He still is hesitant to take the jumper as well and still barrels his way into the key. I love Randle, but it is looking more apparent that Nance fits in more with this offense.
Finally, when Luke says that Nick Young has been the best defensive player on the team, you know more effort and attention can be made. Credit to Young who has really made strides as a player and is doing what Luke is asking of him.
Still have a long ways to go, but excited for the progress.