Since the insertion of Andrew Bynum in to the starting lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers have gone 6-1, at least partly on the strength of their improved defense. In those seven games, the Lakers have given up more than 100 points just once, while holding their opponents to just 93.7 points per game. Compared to their season-long mark of 96.9 points against, that’s an improvement.
And while that improvement could be attributed to Bynum’s bigger role and improved health, the Lakers have also instituted a new defensive system — according to Kobe Bryant their first, as “[the Lakers] have never really had a system,” yeah right — that has helped the team to clog the paint and give up fewer easy points. Makes sense. Return of big guy plus new defense equals fewer points. Sounds simple, right?
Not if you’re asking Phil Jackson. He thinks it’s beyond you. From the Los Angeles Times:
“You wouldn’t understand so I appreciate it,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson playfully chided a reporter when asked what specific changes the team’s new defensive scheme brings. “I don’t mean to demean you like that, but I think it’s a little beyond….”
“Yes you do,” a reporter chimed in.
“You think I do?” Jackson asked grinning.
See? Don’t even try to understand Phil Jackson’s defense because it’s a little beyond the tiny, stupid brains of a mere basketball fan. It’s useless, unless you want your mind to explode from trying to comprehend the depth and complexity of whether or not to switch on a pick-and-roll. He doesn’t mean to demean anyone, but if anyone does get demeaned then those are just occupational hazards.
“If you guys were the inventors of Defensebook, you would have invented Defensebook.” — Phil Jackson, paraphrasing Mark Zuckerberg, basically
But seriously, the Lakers are playing somewhat better defense and I’m sure that, even with Phil Jackson explaining it, we’re not going to be able to understand every intricacy of Los Angeles’ new scheme because of a 40-second description. Heck, basketball players can take months to learn a coach’s game plan and that’s their job. Nonetheless, Phil Jackson doesn’t have to be so mean about. Give us some credit, jeez.