Carmelo Anthony says the Lakers’ defense will take time

Carmelo Anthony
Rohan Ali/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have opened the preseason with two consecutive losses. Granted, they didn’t have their full roster at their disposal, most notably with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook sitting in both games. Also, it’s just the preseason. The regular season starts October 19th, and until then the Lakers are working out the kinks, especially with the new faces on the roster like Carmelo Anthony.

The three-time Olympic Gold Medalist is looking to add to his hall of fame resume by adding the elusive NBA championship. He joins the Lakers after an impressive sting with the Portland Trail Blazers. There, Anthony was able to prove that he can still play at a high level. There’s no question he still has plenty left in the tank, especially offensively, where the Lakers will value his offensive prowess.

Anthony made his debut for the Lakers in preseason game number two against the Phoenix Suns. He scored eight points in 17 minutes played. In that short span, he was able to display his offensive arsenal which will take some weight off LeBron and Anthony Davis’ shoulders. Still, Anthony knows it will take time to familiarize himself with the offense. According to Jacob Rude of Silver Screen and Roll, Anthony knows he needs to build chemistry with Davis to maximize their effectiveness:

When Anthony and this offense is rolling on all cylinders, it will a sight to see. When Davis plays the five, it allows Frank Vogel to use Anthony in that three or four position. That will spread the floor and give Davis, James, and the rest of the players more operating room. Anthony will be able to come off the bench and provide a much-needed offensive punch that the Lakers lacked last season.

Carmelo Anthony is one of the few players who still excels in the mid-range. With the defense focused on AD and LeBron, he can go to work. Anthony can also knock down the triple, so he brings so much versatility offensively for Vogel to work with.

Now, we all know Anthony is known for his offense and not his defensive ability. However, Vogel might be able to help with that. Anthony confirmed that Vogel has made it so the schemes are easy to learn and all the Lakers need time and in-game situations to get it right:

It’s refreshing to hear Carmelo Anthony invested on the defensive end. There’s that old argument that good defense is all about effort, but it sure does help that Vogel is a defensive mastermind. The Lakers have consistently been atop the defensive rankings during his first two seasons. For Anthony, it’s all about knowing your place and getting in sync with your teammates.

Ultimately, it’s all about time. The Lakers will not be perfect to start the season, nobody can be with so much roster turnover. However, as the season progresses, it’s all about building that chemistry to cement yourselves as a contender. Hopefully, the wins are also racking up in the process, but there is no need to panic if they are off to a rocky start.

Speaking of rocky starts, the Lakers got their first bad news of the year. Trevor Ariza had a procedure on his ankle that will sideline him for at least eight weeks. This is quite the blow for the Lakers as Ariza seemed in line to play a big role. The veteran wing made a name for himself for his defense, but can also shoot the three-ball well. It hurts to not have him in the mix to build that defensive chemistry as Anthony mentioned.

Time heals all wounds, but it also allows the Lakers to gel together and familiarize themselves with offensive and defensive schemes. The talent is there and the players have bought in. It all comes down to time and health.

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