As the Lakers look to capture their third straight NBA title, our thoughts turn to offense. The Lakers ranked third in the NBA in offensive rating in both the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, but fell to 11th last season, just above average:
|Year||Pts Per 100 Possessions||NBA Rank|
With that offensive decline in mind, general manager Mitch Kupchak assembled his 2010-2011 roster looking to improve the club's offensive efficiency. At the outstanding Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll, C.A. Clark analyzed the team's offensive outlook this season:
This off-season, the front office made the following edict abundantly clear: The Bench Mob is dead. Gone is Jordan Farmar, in many ways the ring-leader of both the good and bad versions of the Mob. Brought in are three veteran players, only one of which (Matt Barnes) could even come close to being considered "Bench Mob" personnel. Now, instead of young kids littering the 2nd unit, the Lakers go 10 deep with only one member of each unit under the age of 30. Maturity is the new rule. Is it a bit dangerous? Yes, because the Lakers are a bit short on the qualities (athleticism, speed) that youth brings to the table. But the message is clear; the expectation of this team is consistency. Not consistency in play (although that would be an added benefit), but consistency in ideology.
Clark further summarized that the offensive should improve this season:
The offseason changes made by the front office had offense in mind much more so than defense, and rightfully so. Considering their talent, the offense (in the regular season at least) was just short of embarassing. There is no way a team as good as the Lakers should have been just above average in the league. Now, with both the personnel and (apparently) the mentality to perform better, the offense should be much improved. A lot of the Lakers potential on offense hinges on return of outside shooting touch for the starting perimeter players. If the team can re-discover the outside touch (they ranked 24th overall last season), it will provide them the necessary space to make the Triangle lethal again.
For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.