Dear Mark Jackson:

By Jason Wojciechowski on April 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM

I'll say it again: the Lakers aren't a bad defensive team. On a per-possession basis, they were sixth in basketball this year. Last year, they were fifth. Ok, so you're right, they were not better this year than last year. But the implication of your statement was that they were a bad defensive team, which they clearly are not. Consider further that of the 14 teams above the league average in terms of offensive rating, nine are in the Western Conference. (One of those is the Lakers.) Thus, on average, the Lakers were facing better offenses than the teams you probably love so much, Cleveland and Boston. (Don't get me wrong, the Celtics and Cavs are better defensively than the Lakers, but it's not as much of a gap as I think you believe it is.)