The Los Angeles Lakers still can’t find a remedy for their sloppiness and sudden dips in the effort this season as shown by the 108-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers lost another game to an opponent who played without key players. The Grizzlies dominated L.A. even though they missed Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke, among others, on Thursday.
Besides, the Purple and Gold registered a season-high 22 turnovers in Memphis. Head coach Frank Vogel noticed too much “casualness” in his team’s play, particularly after LeBron James sat on the bench at the start of the second quarter having led L.A. to a 29-25 lead.
“Our turnovers went way up, we didn’t rebound the basketball,” Vogel said. “We were slow to every loose ball and there was just too much of a casualness to our approach after we got that early lead. It wasn’t even a huge lead, but we just got casual.
“We started turning the basketball over. We stopped defensive rebounding, gang rebounding. If you need five guys to come back and rebound with Steven Adams. We didn’t do either of those things well enough in that second quarter.”
Vogel pointed out L.A. struggled to execute even the simple plays, ignoring the wide-open players and driving with the ball into crowded areas on the floor instead. He added the Lakers will always make it difficult for them to win games if they register such a high turnover ratio.
“We’re going to continue to have disappointing losses as long as we’re going to turn the ball over like that,” Vogel said.
Asked whether it surprises him to see a veteran group of players show this level of casualness, Vogel acknowledged it has been a pattern for the Lakers this year.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” the head coach said.
“I’ve seen it happen with our group this year. We have to keep our foot on the gas and continue to play. You’d hope that it’s not like that and that’s not the case, but we have seen it with this group and we just got to find a way to prevent that from happening.”
Vogel deployed Dwight Howard in second half to stop Steven Adams’ dominance on glass
Vogel said he gave Dwight Howard more minutes in the second half of the loss to Memphis because of the Lakers’ struggles to collect rebounds. Grizzlies center Steven Adams grabbed eight offensive boards in the game as L.A. started the night with a small-ball lineup, featuring Anthony Davis at the five.
“[W]e’re trying to find a consistent lineup and starting AD at the five and Bron at the four basically works against a lot of teams,” Vogel said.
“This team we knew it would be challenging against [Jaren] Jackson and [Steven] Adams. Started the game pretty well, but in the second quarter, we couldn’t get a rebound. Defensive matchups, we thought we could put AD and Dwight [Howard] in there. Use Dwight’s minutes against Adams, knowing that they’re downsizing with their second unit.
“We would do the same. But it wasn’t enough.”
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