LG entered the 2018-2019 season quarterfinal playoffs. Achievements after 4 years since the 2014-2015 season. After the 2013-2014 season, he aimed for the championship match in 5 years, but he never beat Incheon E-Land (now Daegu Korea Gas Corporation), his opponent in the semifinal playoffs.
And in the 2019 Air Conditioning League, 메이저도메인 Kim Jong-gyu (206cm, C) could not be caught. Although he renewed the contract with Kim Si-rae (178cm, G), the absence of a key big man was great. There was no choice but to be concerned about LG.
LG fell into the bottom ranks from the 2019-2020 season. After the 2019-2020 season, coach Cho Sung-won replaced the command tower, but coach Cho Seong-won also failed to provide a clear answer. In the end, LG failed to make the playoffs in both the 2020-2021 season and the 2021-2022 season. Director Cho Seong-won also did not accompany him.
LG’s new choice was director Cho Sang-hyun. Coach Cho Sang-hyun, who started as a coach for the Goyang Orions, experienced the leadership of the Korean men’s national basketball team. Although he lacked practical experience as a director, LG gave high marks to director Cho Sang-hyun’s detail.
Director Cho Sang-hyun considered ‘defense’ as the first task. In the 2021-2022 season, LG’s average loss was at least 1st (77.4 points) among 10 clubs, but the 2-point shot allowed rate (about 53.6%) and 3-point shot allowed rate (about 33.1%) were at least 5th and 3rd most, respectively. And DEFRTG (the number of points that can be expected when given 100 defense opportunities) is 107.0, which is 5th out of 10 clubs. There were few goals, but it means that the defensive efficiency was not high.
After the defense, there were not many fast attacks. The number of quick attacks for LG in the 2021-2022 season is 3.8 per game. It was 8th out of 10 teams. Because the defense was not effective, the speed of switching from defense to attack was not fast either. Coach Cho Sang-hyun even refined the process of transitioning from defense to offense.
There was also time to make it, but the process LG prepared in the off-season resulted in the 2022-2023 season. With 76.6 runs per game, they once again lead the league in fewer runs. Here, DEFRTG also raised to at least first place (102.7 points). The number of fast attacks per game is also 4.7, which is second. LG, which balanced offense and defense with defense and fast attack, ranked first among 10 clubs with NETRTG (OFFRTG-DEFRTG) +5.3.
LG, who was worried about advancing to the playoffs, took second place in the regular league in the 2022-2023 season (36 wins and 18 losses). Seoul SK recorded the same win and loss and the same opponent record, but had an advantage in the opponent’s goal difference. After the 2013-2014 season, they went straight to the semi-final playoffs in 9 years. Although they never beat Seoul SK in the semifinal playoffs, LG’s performance exceeded expectations.
And LG started off-season training from June 19th. Asem Marey (202cm, C), Dante Cunningham (203cm, F), and Justin Gutang (188cm, F), who were a part of the power, renewed their contract with LG, and Yang Hong-seok (195cm, F), one of the largest FA (free agent) fish, added The positive factors of ‘organizational power’ and ‘recruitment power’ exist in LG’s summer of 2023.
But LG also faces challenges. The key is to maintain the first team color of ‘defense’. Of course, it is a good thing that LG players have melted into a new defensive system for a year. This is because it can show a tighter defensive organization.
However, those facing LG may also adapt to LG’s defense. Again, the club that will deal with LG can now focus more on LG. It’s because I recognized that ‘LG’s defense is not easy’. It means that there is no team to be vigilant against LG like in the past.
And Kim Jun-il (200cm, C), who was the core of LG’s second unit, got out. When that happens, there is a lack of taller resources to ease Dante Cunningham’s defensive burden. If Cunningham can’t ease the defensive burden, Marey’s playing time will increase. Since Marais has the ticking time bomb of ‘calf injury’, he may not be able to show the defensive power he had last season.
Yang Jun-seok (181cm, G) and Park Jung-hyeon (202cm, C), who need more playing time, may not be able to blend into the LG defense system. This is because Yang Jun-seok, who became a member of the Universiade team, will vacate the team until early August, and Park Jung-hyun, who is in the military, will return to the team without off-season training. When those two players enter the court, you have to think about the defensive loopholes that will happen to LG.
Besides, fans are expecting good results like the 2022-2023 season. This can come as the biggest burden for LG, which will play the 2023-2024 season. This is the reason why LG still has a long way to go, and why LG director Cho Sang-hyun said, “There are more worries.”