The Los Angeles Lakers were in desperate need of a roster overhaul, and Rob Pelinka made sure to do what needed to be done.
They made some major moves ahead of the trade deadline, including flipping Russell Westbrook’s expiring deal for multiple rotation guys.
And while losing an All-Star and former MVP to land role players isn’t always a recipe for success, it seems like that was just what the doctor had ordered for Darvin Ham’s team.
Even with LeBron James on the shelf with an injury, the Lakers have fared way better on both ends of the floor since that trade, especially when it comes to getting stops.
According to SportsCenter, the Lakers actually have the best defensive rating in the league (107.6) since the new guys suited up for the purple and gold.
The Lakers have been locking it down since their new players stepped onto the court 🔒 pic.twitter.com/UMTSowQleJ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 9, 2023
Of course, not having their best player on the court forces everybody else to step up, and they know there’s virtually no margin for error if they want to make the playoffs.
So, it’s nice to see how these pieces have meshed together and how determined everybody seems to prove the critics wrong and make a deep postseason run.
LeBron James is no longer the defensive stalwart he used to be earlier in his career, and chances are that his comeback will slightly affect their defense.
But if those guys can keep that intensity up and Anthony Davis stays healthy — which is always a major ‘if’ — this Lakers team could make a lot of noise in the postseason.NEXT: Magic Johnson Comments On Paul Gasol's Ceremony