The Los Angeles Lakers hired Kurt Rambis to be an assistant coach. Rambis spent most of last season criticizing the Lakers defense.
“Their defense never really gave them a chance to win,” Rambis told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “It was very erratic at best. In a lot of ways, when you bring in a lot of players from a lot of different systems, it takes awhile to get everybody connected and on the same page, how you have to defend a myriad of offensive NBA sets and you have to defend talented offensive people, it takes all five guys. They’ve got to be connected, and they’ve got to make the correct decisions at the correct time, and for the Lakers last year, it was clear that they just never really got connected on that end of the floor.
“You could see throughout most of their games, guys would turn their palms up to the sky, and it was like, ‘Is that my responsibility? Is that your responsibility? Who was supposed to do what?’ So, we’ve got to do a much better job of getting them so they can cover each others’ backs at that end of the floor.”
Kurt Rambis is going to help turn around the Lakers defense. They lost a former defensive player of the year in Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace, but added younger and quicker players like Nick Young, Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson. The team being on the same page will help the Lakers turn it around on defense.
“It’s very difficult to defend people 1-on-1 in this league,” Rambis said. “You need all five guys to really stop pick-and-rolls, to stop isolations, to stop the upper echelon offensive players in this league. It’s rare that you have the guys on your team that match up well enough that you can just leave them out there on an island and they can defend people by themselves. It just doesn’t work out that way. So, with youth, with athleticism, some speed and quickness and getting guys more organized defensively, we should be able to do a much better job at that end.”