The Lakers can benefit from an offensive coordinator

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Lakers

Struggles have risen immensely ever since the injury to LeBron James. Those playoff aspirations that were so prevalent early on have turned into uncertainty. A lot of that is due to their struggles offensively which is why I believe the Los Angeles Lakers could benefit from having an offensive coordinator.

The term offensive coordinator is associated with the sport of football. They have a head coach and two coordinators who each overlook the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Basketball is different in that they have a head coach and assistants who help in a variety of ways. Some teams use football’s approach where they delegate either the offense or defense to an assistant and that’s their main focus.

The Lakers organization could benefit from this strategy immensely. When you watch this team it seems as if they’re scratching and clawing for a bucket on every possession. It has gotten worse with the absence of James. They became reliant on him due to his immense talent and high IQ however, he can’t do everything.

Los Angeles Lakers Stats
A snapshot of some of the Lakers struggles (Stats vis NBA.com).

The problem is the Lakers lack shooting and even with the shooters that they do have, they’re not put in the best position to get good looks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Svi Mykhailiuk are the Lakers best shooters. Too often in the offense, they’re either just sitting in the corner or a ball-handler coming off of a screen which is not their strong suit. These are two guys who are seen as catch and shoot guys so why not use them to their advantage.

I would love to see some possessions where these guys are coming off of a pin-down or a staggered screen. Get some off-ball action going with these guys as Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma are driving to the basket so that they’re open for a three.

The Golden State Warriors run a set that they thrive off of that includes one of their bigs, often Kevin Durant, who receives the ball in the high post foul-line extended area from Draymond Green. Green then sets a cross-screen or slips to the basket which often gets Curry an open look. When the defense overplays Curry, the slip to Green is open for a dunk.

Here’s another variation of Curry getting good looks off of the same action.

This doesn’t have to occur every possession but every now and then it would be nice to try and get some quality shots from a couple of quality shooters. The Lakers offense relies too much on one-on-one action.  There are too many possessions of isolations and maybe one or two pick and rolls. This offense could benefit from more player movement and more weak side action. Guys moving without the ball instead of just watching the player with the ball.

In an era where ball movement and player movement prevails, the Lakers are behind. The best teams in the NBA thrive off of shooting the ball and this team has none. They succeeded in signing the best player in the NBA but they failed to put shooters alongside him. Some of that could be relieved, though, if they got someone to upgrade the offense to find easier and better shots.

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