The Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the NBA and have been playing really solid basketball. While the Lakers still have room to improve, they have still been the best team in the league through 17 games.
The Lakers rank first in Simple Rating System and first in Net Rating — two statistics that are a good measuring stick for regular-season rankings.
It has not been perfect, though, and the Lakers are still figuring out the best way that this team pieces together. Frank Vogel is an excellent head coach but there are some changes that he needs to implement from his early-season rotations.
Here are some I would like to see.
The Los Angeles Lakers need to stop playing Dennis Schroder and LeBron James together so much
I was super high on Dennis Schroder heading into the season. He was essentially a much better version of Rajon Rondo that was going to play more minutes. I expected him to come off the bench, however, he has been starting but can still essentially have a bench role, playing more minutes without LeBron than with him.
That simply has not been the case. Schroder is almost exclusively playing with LeBron James and the Lakers are not as efficient with those two on the court. The impact on the Lakers is not huge, but it is a big reason why Schroder’s efficiency has taken a dip this season.
Schroder and LeBron is the second-most common two-man combination for the Lakers this season behind only Anthony Davis and Schroder. LeBron and Schroder have played 348 minutes together.
The Lakers have good numbers in those minutes but it is mostly because LeBron and Anthony Davis are also on the floor.
Schroder has a 19.5% usage rate with LeBron on the court and is shooting 43.1% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc. His per-36 averages are 14.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
Schroder has played 173 minutes without LeBron on the court. His usage rate is 27.5%, although his shooting percentages are down. However, his per-36 averages are 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists.