I learned a few things tonight as the Lakers took on the Grizzlies but none more important than this, when these Lakers figure it out and learn how to play some defense, these guys are going to be a problem. Granted I already knew that but nothing confirmed that more than the scoring outbreak by D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young in the first half, both finishing with 15 points in the half. When Los Angeles is feeling it and the offense is flowing, those young legs and gushing confidence make them hard to stop for anybody in the league.
Now, I say all that to say this, the Lakers need a dominant big man to protect the rim. Julius Randle is a man-child but he is not a certified shot denier quite yet, he could use someone to learn from Ala Tyson Chandler. Until the Lakers get some consistent play down on the block, they will not fulfill their max potential. Put it like this, Los Angeles’ offense is really good, their defense is really bad, therefore, their record is really bad. Los Angeles is better than their 12-25 record and the young talent on the squad tells you that story but they lack that lock down defender who sends people away from the paint.
Mozgov is a temporary fix and so is Thomas Robinson. Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle can both handle their own at the center position but every team needs a true big man to be successful, look what happened to Golden State in the finals when Andrew Bogut went down and tell me you see lies here. I love what Randle offers as the secondary post man, he can chase down people and bring help side defense. That role is where he is best suited to play at this point in his career. Who do the Lakers need to add? Look, I’m not a crystal ball or a physic, but if you’re willing to pay me like Ms. Cleo then click my Twitter handle up top and message me. But for real, we’re still so far away from free agency that I can’t begin to say anything without looking stupid; who actually knows what’s going to happen in July? Nobody.
I don’t expect the Lakers to make any major trades and shake this young core up. They have a great mix of super stars/role/defensive players but most of them can’t rent a car by themselves yet, they need to let these guys develop. As long as they keep this core intact and add a big man in the draft of in 2017 Free Agency the bright lights will soon be shining in Los Angeles.