Comparing the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense
Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers relied heavily on the one-two punch of Davis and James, who averaged 51.4 points per game, 45% of the team’s 113.4 points, which ranked just 11th in the league. In the postseason, their output increased to 55.3 PPG or 49% of their 112.8 points (fourth among playoff teams).
No single player filled the role of third scorer. Sometimes Kyle Kuzma stepped up. Often in the playoffs, it was KCP. In some games, it was Green, Bradley or Rajon Rondo and occasionally, Caruso or Morris or even Howard. But nobody knew game-to-game if they’d even have a third scorer.
This was a weakness that Pelinka sought to repair. This season, Kuzma and KCP return, along with Caruso and Morris. But the Lakers also added a pair of 19 PPG scorers in Schroder and Harrell, as well as a couple of veterans who can chip in, Matthews and Gasol. That duo each averaged 7+ PPG last season, but their career averages are 13-15 points.
With THT being added to the mix, the Lakers have 11 players fully capable of scoring double figures in any given game. In addition, Gasol’s excellent passing from the high post should lead to several easy lay-ins every game.
Clearly, the Lakers will generate more points per game this season from Gasol and Harrell than they did from Howard and McGee. Schroder will certainly score more than Rondo. Matthews should score about the same as Green did (8 PPG). And THT has scored in a variety of ways in the preseason and looks ready to break out this regular season.
As is the case with the defense, it will take time to gel offensively. Vogel is still determining which combinations of players work best together. But once he figures out the best player rotations, the Lakers should be a strong offensive machine.
Opponents will have difficulty matching up against them. The bottom line is that this team has far more offensive talent, versatility and depth than last year’s did.