The Los Angeles Lakers started the 2020-21 season strong and finished their second road trip unbeaten again, thus setting a franchise record at 7-0 for the best start to a season away from home.
L.A. returned to Staples Center and overcame a sluggish start against the New Orleans Pelicans to pick up another win. Over the last week the defending NBA champions seemed to have reached another gear, getting rid of drops in play that occasionally crept into their game at the beginning of the season.
But Lakers head coach Frank Vogel thinks the team is still some time away its optimal form. “Obviously, A.D. and LeBron have great chemistry — and KCP — but with Dennis being in there and Marc, there’s definitely some positives in that lineup,” Vogel said.
“With Marc’s spacing and playmaking, what Dennis brings defensively and his cutting game and everything he brings to the table on both sides of the ball. But they’re definitely still learning each other as is our whole team.”
While Schroder has been living up to the expectations since being acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Gasol has been registering career lows in rebounds, points, and minutes per game. LeBron James recently said L.A. could still utilize the experienced big man better, taking advantage of his basketball IQ and passing ability.
And Vogel admitted he was still figuring out different settings that would allow to unleash the potential of the group. “Each game we can kind of look at different things, different offensive sets, different lineups, different defensive schemes,” he said.
“We’re just trying to continue to grow. It doesn’t really matter what the opponent that we’re facing is doing with their club. But we have a lot of respect for this Pelicans team. They have a lot of firepower, they’re well-coached, and like I said, a couple possessions away from being 7-3 or 8-2, so they’re playing really good basketball.”
Davis: Lakers are finding their ‘rhythm’
Anthony Davis took note of the improvement the Lakers made during their recent road trip. Soon after calling the team out for a poor showing against the San Antonio Spurs, the All-Star forward praised L.A. for “coming along very well.”
“We’re starting to find our niche together,” Davis said. “We’re starting to put everything together and it showed the last three games.”
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