As Kurt Rambis returns to the Lakers’ bench as assistant coach, the challenge will be for this coming season to make improvements to the Lakers’ defense.
To be frank, the Lakers’ defense last season was less than inspirational. Mostly being beat on fast breaks and slow to recover defensively, younger, run n’gun teams had their way with the Lakers’ defense. Although they have lost Metta World Peace, and Dwight Howard who both have a reputation for their strong defensive presence, Kurt Rambis is the perfect answer as a coach to what the Lakers could potentially lack defensively with their players.
The Lakers have done well in acquiring a couple of young guys who can add more defensive presence to the team, namely, Nick Young, and Wesley Johnson. Nick Young is not typically known for his defensive edge, but that is a skill that he intends to develop to become a better defensive presence.
From the perspective of a Lakers fan, seeing the return of Kurt Rambis set me at ease with the direction the Lakers are looking to go, in addition to the return of Jordan Farmar. The former Lakers teams Rambis assisted for had one thing in common: they played defense as a team. There was limited one-on-one defense. Many of the turnovers the Lakers created were because of the help of other guys, and that takes trust from all five men on the court. That trust was a distinctly missing link in the Lakers’ defensive success last season. You simply did not get the feeling that the team relied on each other like a team should.
Hopefully, with the new additions made to the roster, and players who sincerely want to play for the Lakers, Rambis will preach the importance of trusting teammates and helping each other on the defensive end, as well as the offensive end.