Lakers head coach Byron Scott wants better defense from Carlos Boozer

89 Comments

We’re obviously dealing with the smallest of sample sizes at this extremely early stage of things, but through the first four games of the season, the Lakers have the worst defense in the league, and it’s not even close.

L.A. is giving up 120.2 points per 100 possessions, and the next closest team in that category (Utah) is almost nine full points better.

Byron Scott knows the defense must improve if his team is to win even a handful of games, and he believes it starts with his bigs — Carlos Boozer, specifically.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

“He knows he can play better and I expect him to play better,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said Monday at the Lakers’ practice in El Segundo. “It starts on the defensive end. He has to do a better job against pick-and-roll defense and has to do a better job on guys who are trying to post him up.”

Boozer’s defensive miscues marked a primary reason why he sat out for most of the fourth quarters last season in Chicago. After the Bulls waived the 12-year NBA veteran this offseason through the amnesty clause, the Lakers acquired Boozer through a $3.2 million bid. …

“I told our bigs they have to do better job of being up,” Scott said. “When they’re back, which to me is a soft defense, guards are turning a corner and have a chance to attack our bigs.”

Scott was hired for his reputation of being a defensive-minded coach, even though the numbers don’t really back up that assertion; his defenses during his stint in Cleveland were among the worst in history.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $175,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

As far as Boozer is concerned, defense has never been his strong suit, and while (again) it’s early in the season, his net rating is at a minus 30 due to his team giving up 126.8 points per 100 possessions while he’s been in the lineup. That means there’s plenty of room to get better, and any improvement would be a welcome sight for this woeful Lakers squad.