Why Byron Scott Won’t Help the Lakers Win This Season

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't built to heed Byron Scott's first demand as head coach.

Scott told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne on Monday that his players "better be ready to play some defense." 

It's not that the Lakers are unwilling to commit defensively; they're just unable to.

In 2013-14, Los Angeles ranked 28th in defensive efficiency at 107.9 points allowed per 100 possessions, as noted by NBA.com. Only the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz afforded opponents an easier time scoring the ball.

Fingers shouldn't point at Mike D'Antoni.

D'Antoni's teams have historically allowed lots of points. But that's a product of his fast-paced style of play—not his team's lack of commitment defensively.

In his five seasons in Phoenix, D'Antoni never coached a team that ranked below 21st in defensive efficiency. The Suns ranked right in the middle of the pack in four of those five years.

Just two years ago, D'Antoni's Lakers ranked 19th in defensive efficiency—not great but not awful. 

D'Antoni was not the source of Los Angeles' defensive woes. 

Could lineups including Kendall Marshall and Nick Young as the backcourt ever excel defensively? How about Ryan Kelly in the frontcourt? And an old Pau Gasol?

The Lakers actually let one of their better defenders walk during free agency, as Kent Bazemore signed with Atlanta.

Even with Kobe Bryant, the Lakers won't be a much better defensive team in 2014-15. Bryant, who will turn 36 in August, has suffered a pair of lower-body injuries over the last two years. That won't affect his defensive mentality, but it's hard to imagine Bryant returning spry as ever.

Julius Randle has a high upside, but his defensive game isn't up to par with his offense. At least he's young with a high motor.

Newcomer Ed Davis could bolster the frontcourt defensi...

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