The Lakers won a game and lost once since our last Lakers data report, but there’s been little movement in their overall team data. They still sit at a projected 31 wins based on how the team has played so far and the games remaining, good for 12th in the West.
They’re currently 10th in the West, but are winning about as many games as the model says they should. The Grizzlies and the Clippers are just lower in the standings than their final projection reflects.
For some reason it’s rare for this Lakers team to just score an average number of points spotting up. Their average on the season is -1 CPOE spotting up, but the average absolute value is 6.8.
In this pair of games the Lakers had spot up CPOE figures of -9.7 and +12.2, and they made quite the difference. These large values aren’t too surprising considering that those spot up possessions take up such a proportion of the offense, so when the team is on or very off it’ll really show up. But it does still show that this team is very on or off. Unfortunately, the team is more off than on, and when they’re off it’s rather disastrous.
Other than being poor spotting up the team was a little over an average offense over the rest of their actions. So on a rather average day other than missing some shots I find the frequencies of play types most interesting.
The trend of less and less roll man possessions has continued. It’s still a high scoring action for the Lakers, but we’ve gotten away from it as a team.
The trend of low isolation didn’t continue into this game, and neither did the moderately higher off screen action we’d been seeing.
Spot up possessions being 39% of the team’s half court offense isn’t typical, but it’s not bad either. I take this large percentage as extra passes turning what would be a post up or roll man possession (or whatever) into a spot up. Extra passes seems to be the case as well, as the Lakers had 332 passes in their game against Chicago, MUCH higher than their season average of 277.2 passes per game. If the team averaged 332 passes per game on the year they’d be passing second most of any team. This high passing game could just be a blip, but hopefully it’s a sign of change to come.
The Lakers ended up having a pretty solid offensive output against the Kings. To put the 1.02 points per possession into context, that would be tied with the Raptors for third best offensive efficiency in the league if the Lakers were to score that many points per possessions over the year.
A few items stand out to me from this game.
First, no isolation. Zilch. Nada. LA has been good in iso so far this season (ranked 12th), but it’s still bad offense. And it is in general, not just with the Lakers. That above average scoring is still only getting the team 0.912 points per possession. That’s higher than post ups and pick and roll ball handler possessions for the Lakers and on average across the league, but it’s much lower than what you can generate through pick and roll pass outs to spot ups or roll men, cuts, and what a team can generate from running shooters off of screens. I’m happy to see no iso, and hope I never see it again.
We ran more off screen action this game, but didn’t execute on it. This was one of our worse games at it, but on the year the Lakers are an above average team scoring off of screens. We just don’t do it often.
Chicago shot the lights out when they were open (42% on 3s and 44% overall), but shot like the lights were out and they couldn’t see the basket when they had a hand in their face. The Bulls were just 1/11 on contested 3-pointers.
This isn’t uncommon for Laker opponents either. They’ve consistently been first or second in the league at defensive efficiency on contested catch and shoot jumpers. And this incredible defensive efficiency spreads throughout the team as well.
Here’s the PPP percentile for each Laker player with more than 10 defensive contested jump and shoot possessions and how opponents have shot. This shows the percentage of the league each player has a better defensive PPP than on these contested shots:
- Brook Lopez – 81st, made 5 of 17
- Lonzo Ball – 81st, 4/17
- KCP – 91st, 4/19
- Julius Randle – 92nd, 2/11
- Kyle Kuzma – 84th, 6/26
- Brandon Ingram – 84th, 11/42
- Jordan Clarkson – 81st, 4/17
The Lakers rank 14th in the percentage of jumpers faced that are contested rather than open. But on those contested shots, teams are not scoring nearly as well as they do on contested jumpers against other teams. It may be a matter of length or being in better position and contesting better, but it’s been happening all season and is really helping this team.
LA was beaten pretty much all over against the Kings, which isn’t something that’s happened much this season. On the occasional below average defensive performances LA has fallen victim to one or two specific play types. They just didn’t bring it anywhere against Sacramento.
The Kings have the second worst offensive efficiency on the season. Against LA, their PPP was as good as the second best offense on the season. There’s not much to say other than LA was thoroughly beaten down.