After arguably their best victory of the season over the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to follow up with an equal performance against the New York Knicks. Frank Vogel’s team again struggled to take care of the ball, committing 24 turnovers in a 15-point loss at Madison Square Garden.
Though the team fought well in the first half, they were doomed by an offensive slump in the third quarter bolstered by the inability to hold on to the ball. The Lakers were able to climb back to within five points in the fourth quarter, but New York quickly responded to put the game away.
If there is one positive for the Lakers it is that they don’t have to wait long to redeem themselves. The Lakers take the court on Tuesday against the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of a back-to-back to finish off their seven-game road trip against the Charlotte Hornets and Vogel believes they will be ready.
“This doesn’t feel good. Losing like this doesn’t feel good, so all of our guys are eager to get back after it tomorrow,” Vogel said after the loss to the Knicks.
As has been the case a couple of times during this road trip, the game seemed to be a winnable one for Vogel’s team.
The team’s loss to the Miami Heat was another example of a game the Lakers had a chance to be victorious in but were hampered by their own mistakes. But Vogel also gave the Knicks credit for their defensive effort.
“Really poor passing. Some bad decisions and some of it you have to credit the defense, but as good as we were offensively two nights ago, we were just as bad tonight. It’s disappointing. We had 25 turnovers and we got our shot blocked nine times, which we view as turnovers as well. Definitely not good enough on the offensive end tonight.”
Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s teams have always been tough defensively and this New York squad is no different. They came into this contest allowing the fewest points in the NBA and ranked fourth in defensive efficiency. These Lakers without Anthony Davis and LeBron James can be offensively challenged and the Knicks were able to take advantage of that.
The Lakers were unable to get any easy points inside as they consistently swarmed Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell, who combined for just three points. Additionally, they did an excellent job of closing out on shooters and many Laker turnovers were the product of overpassing.
This Lakers team simply doesn’t have much room for error, but they have been unable to fix their turnover woes. Hopefully Vogel is right in that his team is ready to make up for a less than stellar performance in Charlotte.
Injury updates on Anthony Davis, LeBron James
Of course, the best way for the Lakers to get back on track would be a return to the lineup for their two superstars and it looks like they are inching closer to being back on the floor.
Davis, who has been out since February, will reportedly be re-evaluated once the team returns to L.A. from their road trip on Thursday and a return to game action could come soon after.
James is still a little further removed from an on-court return but is believed to be around three weeks away from being back in the lineup.
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