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Lakers still hurt by missed free throws and turnovers

January 19, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, left, fouls Lakers center Dwight Howard during the second half of their game at Staples. The Heat won 99-90.
Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, left, fouls Lakers center Dwight Howard during… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The Lakers are still having trouble getting wins, but heading into games Saturday they were fourth in the league in scoring at 103.1 points a night.

A big part of the problem is on the defensive end, where the Lakers are 26th overall, yielding 101 a game. Still, some of the defensive issues are created on the offensive side, where the Lakers are turning the ball over at a high rate.

The Lakers are 27th out of 30 teams with 15.4 turnovers a game. Conversely, they're 25th in creating turnovers (13.6).

Going hand-in-hand with turnovers, the Lakers don't generate a ton of steals (7.4 a game, 20th overall) while opponents grab 8.3, seventh best against.

Free-throw shooting is the other big issue. The Lakers are 29th in the league at 69.1%.

Given how poorly the Lakers shoot from the line, other teams rack up the fouls to take advantage. The Lakers get fouled a league-high 23.2 times a game. As a team, the Lakers defensively don't foul often, just 19.3 a night (22nd).

In an odd statistic, opponents shoot just 72.3% at the line against (29th overall), perhaps the Lakers' misses are contagious.

The team also shoots relatively well from the field at 45.6% (10th place). Defensively they allow teams to shoot 45% (16th), which is average but not horrible.

The team is 11th best defensively against the three-point shot, giving up 35.4% (11th) while shooting 35.7% (11th).

The Lakers are 14th with 22.1 assists per game, but their defense doesn't do enough to disrupt their opponents, who average 23.5 assists against (second in the league).

Rebounding is a strength at 45.3 a game (fourth), although opponents collect 42.5 nightly, 14th best against the Lakers. The team also blocks 5.6 shots a night (10th) while getting blocked 4.9 (16th best).

Going through the numbers, the Lakers have some bright spots, but their poor free throw shooting and prolific turnovers put them at a disadvantage nightly.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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