first_img5. The defense appears missing in actionThrough every drill and speech, Walton mostly emphasized defense for an obvious reason: The Lakers finished near the bottom of the league last season in nearly every defensive statistical category. Expect the Lakers to endure plenty of growing pains as they attempt to master a few key concepts: defending without fouling, stopping opponents in transition and staying organized as a team. Here are five things we learned about the Lakers during training camp:1. Luke Walton has invoked a positive atmosphereThe music in practice sounds pleasant to the players’ ears. The first-year head coach has often described a players’ performance as “phenomenal.” And with honest criticism sprinkled in amid Walton’s praise, the Lakers appear eager to buy into what he wants.2. D’Angelo Russell has felt empowered, but plenty of work remains Russell has often dazzled with his scoring binges and crowd-pleasing passes, and his confidence and talent have helped him recover from poor outings. Still, those around the league wonder about Russell’s ability to play defense and how he will lead a young team through inevitable tough times.3. Brandon Ingram will grow steadilyHe might need time to bulk up his skinny frame, but Ingram won’t shy away from physical contact. He might experience shooting slumps, but the Lakers don’t expect Ingram to get too discouraged. He might come off as quiet and shy, but many in the NBA and within the Lakers organization believe those qualities show his seriousness toward his craft.4. Jordan Clarkson will thrive as a sixth manCompetitive nature explains Clarkson’s preference to start, but his coachability explains why he has accepted this new role without complaint. Clarkson has the work ethic to grow as a defender and scorer this season.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *