Byron Scott’s Greatest Challenge as Los Angeles Lakers Coach Will Be on Defense

The Los Angeles Lakers were a defensive dumpster fire during the 2013-14 season, one of the many reasons they weren't able to live up to even the most modest expectations while failing to make the playoffs for the second time in as many years. 

Under Byron Scott, who was introduced on Tuesday afternoon as the new head coach of the historically excellent franchise, that has to be different. 

To recap, the Lakers allowed 109.2 points per game during the prior campaign, placing a terrifyingly small amount of emphasis on that end of the court under the supervision of the offensive-minded Mike D'Antoni. Only the Philadelphia 76ers allowed more scoring, and things look similarly putrid when pace is factored into the equation. 

With a defensive rating of 110.6, per, the Lake Show finished ahead of only the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks on that particular leaderboard. 

How bad did things get?

The Lakers allowed opponents to top 140 points on three separate occasions, most notably when the Los Angeles Clippers dropped 142 in a 48-point win on March 6, one in which they actually stopped trying at the end of the game.

If the Purple and Gold offense had been even remotely effective that night, the Clippers starters might have remained in the game and pushed the score up above 150. 

As Mark Medina wrote for after the blowout (a word that doesn't even do that memorable game justice), this type of performance doesn't speak kindly about more than just the skills of the players on the court: 

Such an effort reflects poorly on the players' failure to compete and the coaching staff's failure to entice players to buy into everything. Sure, the Lakers have offered some lightning in a bottle, such as upsetting Portland. But the Lakers look checked out. Instead of defending, the Lakers hacked the Clippers ...

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