This is going to be a pattern this season for the Lakers. Only two games in, and Byron Scott is already displeased with their defensive effort. They gave up 132 points to the Kings on Friday in a blowout loss, including a whopping 80 in the paint. Scott made no secret of his frustration after the game.
“We just sucked,” Scott said of his team’s defense. “Simple as that.”
The Kings scored 40 points in the first quarter, had 74 by halftime and broke through the triple-digit mark in the third quarter.
“I’ve never seen 80 points in the paint in a game,” Scott said.
At one point, the Kings had more points in the paint (40) than the Lakers had points (39).
The Lakers, meanwhile, scored only 38 points in the paint all told.
“Defense is obviously a big concern,” Scott said. “Transition defense and lack of effort, also. We just didn’t come with a focus tonight for whatever reason at the start of the game.”
Does Scott have any answers as to why his defense failed again?
“I don’t. I wish I did,” he said. “If I did, I would solve it.”
He added, “Again, we started off real soft. They started off real aggressive. They came up, they picked us up 94 feet. We were careless with the ball. From that point on, it seemed to go downhill.”
The problem is, with the Lakers’ personnel, it’s hard to see this getting better. The only player on their roster who can really be considered a plus defender is Roy Hibbert, and he can’t cover for everybody. It’s going to be a long season for this team.