Wayne Ellington discusses how the Lakers’ frontcourt defense will help the guards

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·2 min read
Wayne Ellington discusses how the Lakers’ frontcourt defense will help the guards
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The Los Angeles Lakers finished last season with the No. 1-ranked defense in the league despite the injuries that accumulated in the second half of the year.

Going into the 2021-22 campaign, the Lakers will not have key pieces to that strong defensive core. Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews, to name a few, are no longer on the roster.

The Lakers replaced the defensive-minded guards with scoring-focused ones. Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk are two young guards that provide a scoring punch but aren’t as skilled on the defensive end.

The same applies to veteran Wayne Ellington, who can light it up from deep but isn’t a defensive nightmare for opponents.

The loss of those guards could hurt Los Angeles’ perimeter defense, but Ellington discussed how the frontcourt defensive prowess of Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard should mitigate those issues, via Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet:

A healthy Davis will always be a force to reckon with anywhere on the court. Even though he averaged 1.6 blocks a game last year, which was a career low, he should bounce back with healthy legs.

Howard isn’t the shot-blocking menace he was with the Orlando Magic, but he’s still adept at altering shots; Howard will have to focus on limiting his fouls in his minutes because he can accumulate them quickly.

Beyond those two, the Lakers have only Marc Gasol at center. He’s reportedly not a lock to return next season, but he averaged 1.1 blocks a game last year despite clearly being less mobile on defense at 36 years old.