Will the short rest detract from last season’s elite defense?
With AD and LeBron inevitably missing some games, the rest of the supporting cast will have to step up in order to keep up the elite defense that the Los Angeles Lakers had last season. Just to recap, the Lakers finished 3rd in defensive rating, 8th in opponent field goal percentage, and 5th in opponent turnovers per game.
Frank Vogel has always coached some excellent defensive teams and with the personnel that he had last season, he did an excellent job at maximizing this roster’s strength on that end. Here’s where the problem lies with AD and LeBron missing games: they are extremely important to the Laker defense.
Davis, in particular, is the key to this defense. His status as one of the 3 best defenders in the league is based on the merits that he has earned throughout his career (He was a part of the All-Defensive First Team last season).
Gasol might have some playing time issues due to his age and the Harrell addition is a bit worrying on the defensive end, but only time will tell how Vogel utilizes the players at his disposal in these situations.