Los Angeles Lakers: 3 Ways they can improve before the playoffs

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Los Angeles Lakers
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Identify the secondary playmaker

Let’s face it, the Los Angeles Lakers have been entirely too reliant on LeBron James’ playmaking abilities. He leads the league in assists all the while being one of the greatest players to have ever graced the hardwood. The saying is true. “Give the ball to LeBron and get out of the way”

Through LeBron’s leadership, the purple and gold have the best record in the West and this is largely in part to that.

LeBron is capable of making every pass there is. He is exceptional passing out of double teams, he is electrifying in making a flashy pass in transition and he is jaw-dropping in getting the ball exactly where his teammate wants it.

To say Lakers Nation has been spoiled this season by LeBron’s exploits is an understatement.

However, while all this is happening, one rather large question emerges.

If LeBron is off the floor for any period of time, who is the next playmaker?

General wisdom would point to the point guard. The starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers right now is Avery Bradley. While Bradley has many excellent characteristics such as 3-point shooting and tenacious defense, playmaking isn’t high on his skill-set list.

Next in line, Rajon Rondo…………..

In the late 2000’s Rondo was one of, if not the best playmaker in the league. Capable of making jaw-dropping passes to his future Hall of fame teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. His ability to quarterback an offense was unparalleled.

This isn’t the late 2000’s anymore.

Rondo is a shell of the player he once was and is now more known for being a ball-dominant ball stopper. For a Lakers team with championship aspirations, you cannot have Rajon Rondo playing a major part for this team.

So who will take the playmaking role? I’ll give you two names. Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso.

Two players, you say?? Allow me to explain.

Admittedly, Davis and Caruso are not well known for their elite playmaking prowess. AD is known for his elite defense. Caruso is known for his effort on both ends of the floor and his willingness to help the team out in any way he can.

Well, Alex, the purple and gold are going to need you to step up in a big and bad way.

For Caruso to quarterback the offense when LeBron is off the floor, the Lakers will need to run a simplified offense for Caruso. Stick to pick and roll sets with AD and Dwight. Get Davis the ball in the paint with his back to the basket and hit open men for 3-point shots.

While not a perfect solution, it should at the very least keep the Lakers ticking over with points as LBJ gets some much-needed rest.