The Los Angeles Lakers struggled with consistency throughout the clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers, although they notched a 113-101 victory thanks to some promising stints on both ends of the floor.
Cleveland easily found open looks in the first half of the game, leading to an 11-point lead in the second quarter — the team’s biggest of the night. Moreover, the Lakers committed 15 turnovers before halftime, proving they are yet to fix the carelessness with the ball that characterized their game early in the season.
On the flip side, Carmelo Anthony turned into a lethal sharpshooter again, scoring 24 points on a 75% shooting efficiency both from the field and behind the 3-point line. The Lakers also gave up the least points in the current campaign, holding the Cavaliers to just 16 points in the fourth quarter.
After the game, head coach Frank Vogel said that the Lakers are still pretty much a work in progress.
“We’re still learning each other,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure out what it takes to get great ball security. I mean, it’s not all along the perimeter. We’re not spacing appropriately, we’re screening poorly. We had to call a couple timeouts to clean up and fix that. The ball had been put in a bad position, so similar to that.
“There were a few other things but defensively, disappointed in the first half. There is no other way to put it.”
Although Vogel conceded that the Lakers aren’t improving on the defensive end as quickly as he would like, he is encouraged by the effort of his players to address the ongoing issues with their play.
“Soaking in the moment. Guys are coming in to talk to guys during halftime, they are already watching film, talking to each other,” he said.
“Bron, Russ, AD- they are all talking as a team, thinking things out. Something we’re just working in. It’s not happening on the defensive side as quickly as we want, but we’re working on it.”
Russell Westbrook wants Lakers to ‘keep their swag’ despite adversity
Russell Westbrook was among the Lakers who struggled the most in the first weeks of the new season. But his recent performances indicate that the 32-year-old guard is finally figuring out his role on the team.
Westbrook admits that L.A. faced a great deal of adversity early in the season, getting hit by an avalanche of injuries, among other things. But he thinks that by communicating and holding each other accountable, the Lakers can weather the storm.
“If we continue to do that, we’re moving in the right direction and keeping our swag up,” he said.
“That’s something that I’m big on is keeping our swag and keeping our spirits high. We’re going to see what happens throughout the game, but if our swag is up and we’re playing our best, nobody can really do anything to us.”
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