When a playoff series is tied 2-2, Game 5 is an extremely crucial contest and the winner has ultimately advanced more often than not. In the most important game of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers turned in one of their worst performances of the season and Frank Vogel’s team now finds themselves with their back against the wall.
Without Anthony Davis, the Lakers managed just 10 points in the second quarter and 85 in the entire game as they fell to the Phoenix Suns, 115-85. Now trailing 3-2 in the series, the Lakers are on the brink of seeing their season end much earlier than they anticipated.
Obviously the Lakers’ next contest is a must-win for Vogel’s team and he believes this will show a lot about this team.
“We’ll find out,” Vogel said when asked how the team will respond to such an embarrassing loss. “We’ll find out what we’re made of and we’ll find out how bad we want this.”
As far as what went wrong for the Lakers to find themselves at such a deficit in the biggest game of the season, Vogel didn’t pull any punches, crediting the Suns and noting that the Lakers failed to execute in any facet of the game.
“We didn’t play well enough on either side of the ball early in the game,” Vogel added. “They built a big lead, we didn’t respond. But they did what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to win Game 5. Whether they win by one or by 30, they won Game 5. It’s our turn to go back to L.A. Go home. Take care of our home court and make this a seven-game series.”
A seven-game series is now the only chance the Lakers have of surviving the first round of the playoffs and potentially defending their 2020 NBA Championship. The team never faced this level of adversity in last season’s playoff run, but they will have a chance to right this wrong in Game 6 and give themselves a chance in a winner-take-all Game 7 should they be successful.
Vogel gives credit to Suns
While Vogel was highly critical of the Lakers’ play in Game 5, he also gave some praise to the Suns, who many forget are the No. 2 seed and one of the best teams in the league all year.
“You’ve got to credit the [Phoenix] Suns. They’re playing terrific basketball. Second-best record in the NBA. They’re a really good team. We have to be on our game and we weren’t on either side of the ball today.
“So our guys fought and competed, but didn’t execute on either side of the ball nearly well enough. We have to get back to the drawing board, watch the tape and see ways we can get better and put together a plan to win Game 6.”
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