The Lakers fell to a 108-124 loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, marking their fourth loss in their last five games. The Lakers were hoping to start climbing to the top of the West with a mostly injured roster but have faltered heavily since winning the In-Season Tournament earlier this month.
Former Lakers guard Derek Fisher thinks the tournament is the reason for the Lakers taking their foot off the gas.
“I think there’s a reason why you wait until the end (of the season) to celebrate a championship.”
Derek Fisher: "I think there's a reason why you wait until the end (of the season) to celebrate a championship."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 21, 2023
Fisher also gave a detailed critique of the Lakers’ style of play, criticizing their offense and claiming it won’t be enough to help the team stack wins in the modern NBA.
“I think the Lakers have to figure out a way offensively to play with more pace so they can create more easy opportunities for everyone. LeBron and AD may miss out on a couple of opportunities playing faster, but it may give more guys a chance to score. You can’t put up 108 in today’s NBA and win.”
#Lakers Derek Fisher says “you can’t score 108 today in the NBA and win”. Fisher wants Lakers to play faster, which is not possible with D’Angelo Russell at point guard. #Lakers front office needs to take a long look at this roster before Thursday, Feb 8th, 2024. pic.twitter.com/HELEyXfPx0
— TJ Laker (@Lakers24LifeMan) December 21, 2023
The Lakers have a bottom-five offensive rating in the NBA this season, with this loss likely making that number look even worse. The solutions for LA can be relatively simple, as they need to adjust their style of play. It’s not just about the pace at which they play, it’s about the personnel that they use.
What Can The Lakers Do To Improve Their Offense?
Darvin Ham is coming under fire for creating one of the most unimaginative offenses in the NBA. They live and die by making shots, as LeBron James is still a very potent shot-creator. The consistency in their shooting just isn’t there, and it isn’t just a question of making those shots. The rotations that Darvin Ham throws out with LeBron as the power forward need to end.
The Lakers need to consider going back to using James as a point guard instead of cycling through all the ball-handlers on their roster to try and find something to fit. The tinkering is creating a lack of continuity that is plaguing them on the court. It seems a trade will be the easiest way to jump-start their offense, with a case to acquire Zach LaVine becoming even stronger.
If the Lakers do end up moving players such as D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura to try and get LaVine, they need to start trusting LeBron to run the point again. Playing Reaves and LaVine next to point guard James would be an offensive boost, especially if Anthony Davis is also on the floor as a vertical threat. With the ball in James’ hands, it’ll be tough for opposing defenses to always be ready to handle these lineups.
Hopefully, the Lakers find a solution or they’re going to tumble down the West and possibly find themselves fighting out of the play-in tournament once again.