The Lakers currently have the best record in the NBA alongside with the Milwaukee Bucks. They are 22-3 so far this season, and one of the things that made it possible for the Lakers is their exceptional defense, which will be a crucial aspect if they want to win a championship this year. They currently have the fourth-best defense in the NBA, allowing 102.7 points per 100 possessions. During the Silver Screen and Roll podcast, Danny Green talked about their improved defense and how it’s the most important key for them if they plan to make it to the NBA finals.
“Oh yeah, defensively, we’ve been pretty exceptional at moments, at times, and our chemistry off the court has been really good. Those are definitely two good key signs of a team that could be potentially the last team standing.”
Green believes everybody on the team is doing a great job on defense, but LeBron James and Avery Bradley stood out a bit more from all the rest.
“Well, I knew everybody on this team was very capable, but you don’t really get to see it up close unless you play with them, and to see Avery on the ball is something special. And then seeing how LeBron’s picked it up this season has been amazing on that end of the floor. Everybody’s been stepping up. But to see those two — Avery when he’s playing on ball and over screens — is something special, and LeBron this year has especially picked it up on that end of the floor.”
One of the things that Danny Green appreciates about LeBron’s defense is his presence and telling guys where they have to be. LeBron’s basketball IQ is extremely high, so he is aware of everything that is happening on the basketball court and often can see plays before they occur.
“Just communicating where guys need to be and for himself to be when we talk on defense. It helps you put yourself in the right position and be where you’re supposed to be. Telling guys where to be. Also figuring out what’s working against certain players and certain teams. He’s been active; he’s been communicating a ton.”
A lot of fans and analysts noticed LeBron’s improvement on defense this season as it seems he has more motivation to play more agressively. He is posting the best defensive box plus-minus (+2.2) and defensive rating (103) he’s posted since the 2015-16 season. The “eye test” holds up with those stats, too, which means the Lakers are definitely on the right track to indeed have a historic season if all the players stay healthy.