The Los Angeles Lakers put forth an atrocious effort on both ends of the floor in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Head coach Frank Vogel’s team was outplayed in every facet of the game as they allowed the Miami Heat to close the series to within 2-1.
The Lakers never seemed to be as locked in as they were in the first two games of the series and Jimmy Butler was the best player on the court in Game 3. The Lakers turned the ball over 19 times with 14 of those coming in the first half.
They also committed 22 fouls, which led to Butler living at the free throw line. The Heat were desperate not to fall behind 3-0 in the series and just seemed to want the game more than the Lakers, though Vogel didn’t necessarily see it that way.
“It wasn’t about effort. It was just about execution, but again credit their defense,” he said. “They played a terrific game, forced a lot of those turnovers. We’ll look at the tape and see how we can be better.”
The Lakers were extremely sloppy in their execution offensively, but that failure also played a role in their defensive issues. They had a ton of miscommunications and breakdowns on defense and one could argue that it was a combination of effort and execution.
The Lakers clearly failed in their execution of the game plan, but their lack of energy and focus were factors as well.
Miami’s defense was definitely much better in this contest as they forced the Lakers to operate more on the perimeter with LeBron James being the only Laker able to get in the paint regularly. The Lakers shot just 43% from the field and 33.3% from deep.
Regardless of what exactly was responsible for the Lakers’ poor showing, the pressure will be on Vogel to get his team back on track for Game 4 and take back control of this series.
Looking ahead to film session
One of the few bright spots for the Lakers in Game 3 was Markieff Morris, who poured in 19 points off the bench while knocking down five 3-pointers. He and Kyle Kuzma provided huge games, but in a loss that simply doesn’t matter as the Lakers as a whole failed to come to play.
On both ends of the floor the Lakers didn’t execute and Morris believes the team will hear about it in their upcoming film session. “There’s a lot of people that are going to get their [expletive] chewed out and we’ll respond better in Game 4,” he said.
James added he also was looking forward to improving through the film session, though he said so much more diplomatically.
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