Los Angeles Lakers Primed for a Three-Peat, Defensively Speaking

Popular theory in the NBA says defense wins playoff games and rebounding wins championships, and the Los Angeles Lakers' title in 2010 serves as proof for that theory.

The Lakers may be known for their triangle offense, but the team is defined by their defense, which just happened to be the constant in an otherwise inconsistent regular season.

The Lakers were second only to the Chicago Bulls in rebounding at 44.3 per game during the regular season, and they were third in that category during the playoffs at 42.9 rebounds per game.

It's important to note that the teams ahead of the Lakers were the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, who were both first-round casualties in the postseason.

Rebounding might be the best statistic to measure a team's defense, because a high number shows the opposition is missing shots, and even when the rebounds are offensive, they limit an opponent's possessions.

Those numbers often directly relate to defensive field goal percentage, and the Lakers' 43 percent ranked third behind the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, who were conference finalists and Finals runner-up, respectively.

Although the Lakers ranked fourth in the postseason at 101 points per game, it's clear their championship was won on the strength of a superior defense, and they have a chance to be even better this season.


It may seem like the Lakers had a pedestrian offseason, but the acquisitions of Theo Ratliff, Matt Barnes, and to a lesser extent Steve Blake, were made for defensive purposes alone.

At 6'7", Barnes gives the Lakers another tall, versatile player who is equally comfortable defending on the perimeter or post, and he has the quickness to defend point guards on occasion.

The Lakers basically have three elite perimeter defenders in Barnes, Kobe Bryant, and Ron Artest, and Barnes' presence wil...

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