After a successful road trip and home win against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Golden State Warriors in a frustrating 115-113 loss on Monday night.
Following a number of slow starts to begin the month of January, the Lakers seemed to have caught a rhythm on their four-game road trip, getting off to explosive starts and jumping on teams early.
Monday was no different, as they outscored the Warriors 34-22 in the first quarter. After leading by 16 points at halftime, Los Angeles seemed to get complacent and allowed the Warriors to battle back in the second half.
The Lakers settled for far too many outside shots and struggled to force turnovers on the defensive end. Ultimately, Stephen Curry hit a big 3-pointer down the stretch, and the Lakers were unable to secure the win.
With a relatively weak schedule in the first half of January, the Lakers have a number of more difficult games on the horizon. They will look to bounce back on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, then take on the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics as two of their last four games during the month of January.
Head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged the Lakers may have benefitted from various breaks in their schedule, but strength of the opponent is not something he is concerned with.
“All these games are just a test of good habits. Whether you’re playing against a great team, or a team that’s playing really well, or a team with a poor record, it doesn’t matter,” Vogel explained.
“You’re trying to play to a standard and win as many games as you can. We’ve been opportunistic with being able to play the Grizzlies without Ja Morant and the Spurs without LaMarcus Aldridge in those early road trips. But again, we try not to focus on the strength of our opponent.
“They’ve still got five guys on the floor and we’ve got to execute at a high enough level to win. Just focusing on us.”
With trade news and coronavirus distractions across the league, it is easy to lose track of what is important. Vogel along with team captains LeBron James and Anthony Davis, have continued to preach what is important to their organization to keep the team on track.
The Lakers were fortunate enough to start their short turnaround 2020-21 season with a softer schedule, facing the Minnesota Timberwolves without Karl Anthony-Towns, the San Antonio Spurs without LaMarcus Aldridge, and the Memphis Grizzlies without Ja Morant.
However, the team has played solid basketball and shown promising flashes of chemistry with their new roster. Now 11-4 and still sitting at the top of the Western Conference, the Lakers will continue to focus on themselves as they march toward February.
Vogel doesn’t believe Lakers grew complacent
Although body language and the loss would suggest otherwise, Vogel refuted the notion that the Lakers became complacent against the Warriors. He noted their strong start to the game and gave Golden State credit for changing the pace with their smaller lineup.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!