Los Angeles Lakers: Areas in which the Lakers key role players can improve

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Defence

The re-emergence of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has a lot of fans of the purple and gold eating their words, including this writer. To begin the season, KCP, to put it nicely, was not engaged. He looked disinterested, sluggish, his jump shot wasn’t falling and he seemed displeased that he was now coming off the bench.

Fast forward a couple of months and the narrative on KCP has completely changed. He is scorching from the 3-point line this season, he is providing decent scoring off the bench as well as making the occasional pass to his teammate for an easy bucket.

With the support of his teammates, KCP has continued to go from strength to strength with the Lakers and I, for one, will put up my hand and say that I was 100% wrong about the capabilities of Mr. Caldwell-Pope. He has proven himself to be a valuable member of the rotation and long may it continue.

While there is a KCP lovefest at the moment, one area in which KCP has yet to fully click on is the defensive side of the ball.

He has proven in the past that he is more than capable of staying in front of his man, at times he has even proven he is capable of defending the other team’s best player. Whether is it a lack of effort or a lack of ability is unknown, but if KCP can get back to being a plus defender then the Lakers will have a valuable rotational piece going in the playoffs.

With an ability to guard both small forwards and shooting guards, KCP will get a real chance to stake a claim for the playoff rotation. His 3-point shooting, chemistry with LeBron James and his strong understanding of what Coach Vogel wants him to do should make him a prime candidate for some big playoff minutes.