After putting up just 77 points in Tuesday’s loss to the 16-0 Golden State Warriors, the Lakers have recognized the need for offensive adjustments.
The team has topped 100 points just once in its last nine games, and has shot worse than 38 percent in back-to-back contests.
According to Nick Young, this has to do with sluggish ball movement, which he says has resulted in a lack of offensive identity.
“Right now I don’t believe we have one,” Young said at Wednesday’s practice. “We have a lot of one-on-one players, including myself. I think that’s one of the major parts of why our offense is so stagnant.”
After Tuesday’s defeat, Young described the Lakers’ reliance on one-on-one playmaking as a video game-like approach.
Indeed, L.A.’s players have tried to take matters into their own hands, as a league-high 10.8 percent of possessions have been in isolation. But playing outside the offense hasn’t worked for the Lakers, as they have shot just 30.4 percent (41-of-135) on those iso attempts.
“It’s tough out there,” Young said. “We’ve got to find our identity. Like I’ve been saying, everybody’s a great one-on-one player, but we’ve got to work on team ball.”
Head coach Byron Scott also pointed out that the team needs to do a better job of creating better shot opportunities for one another. In particular, he noted that Brandon Bass and Julius Randle need to set the kind of impeding screens that Roy Hibbert has been providing.
“We’ve got to have better spacing and set better screens,” Scott said. “Our execution on the offensive end has to be better. … Our young people have to be patient as well, but our bigs have to do a better job of setting screens and our guys have to do better jobs of setting people up.”
But the biggest question for Scott has been how to get Kobe Bryant into rhythm. The five-time champion tied a career-worst shooting night against Golden State by going 1-of-14 from the field. He has shot 40 percent from the field just twice in 11 games this year.
“It’s trying to get him in better positions to be able to have the opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis,” Scott said.
Young ended practice with a smile by detailing his Thanksgiving plans, saying his teammates "should be thankful I opened my doors to them."
"I invited some players if they want to come over to the Swag Mansion," he said. "They should be thankful for that."