Los Angeles Lakers: Point Guard Defense Still a Point Of Concern?

Next season the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to field one of the best defensive teams of the Phil Jackson era. But, despite the optimism surrounding the franchise, questions remain on the defensive end.

Of course, the most obvious defensive question is the Lakers' inability to defend the pick-and-roll, but that flaw seems to be more embedded in the team's culture, and is lessened by superior post players.

The Lakers have not been able to defend the pick-and-roll since Magic Johnson manned the point, and it's unlikely that dynamic will change despite the Lakers' overall improvement on defense.

That said, with players like Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and Pau Gasol protecting the basket it's easier to challenge an offensive player at the rim without giving up an advantage somewhere else on the court.

However, the Lakers' inability to defend the point guard position has resulted in some tense moments in the past, and has been viewed as the Lakers biggest weakness on the defensive end.

The Lakers have always been vulnerable to penetration from smaller, quick point guards, but they have also struggled to defend bigger, stronger lead guards as well.

A player like Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook is capable of causing the Lakers multiple troubles because he can exploit them with his quickness or strength, as he showed in last season' playoffs.

Westbrook, not Kevin Durant was the Thunder's best player in last season' loss to the Lakers, and, if Westbrook had a reliable mid range jump shot, the series could have possibly swung a different way.

Two seasons ago Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks stretched the eventual NBA champion Lakers to the brink of elimination with his relentless, fearless penetration, and Los Angeles possibly benefitted in the Finals that year against an Orlando Magic team with a less-than-healthy Jameer Nelson.

Los Angeles took...

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