The Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that have had a lot to figure out during the NBA restart, and it seemingly affected their performance. Despite clinching the first seed in the Western Conference, LeBron James and Co. are 2-4 since the seeding games began, struggling to find their pre-hiatus form.
The Lakers have the worst offensive rating in Orlando due to the shooting troubles and inconsistency which even James and Anthony Davis have not been immune to. The four-month break definitely took its toll on the team’s form, but so have roster changes that forced head coach Frank Vogel to experiment with the lineup.
Vogel said he already has an idea of how his playoff rotation might look like. But he is still trying to find appropriate roles for JR Smith, Dion Waiters, and Markieff Morris while figuring out how to best replace absent Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo, with the latter possibly returning around the first playoff round.
But Vogel is “very confident” the Lakers will again look like their pre-bubble selves soon. “I know we’ve lost a couple in a row but I’m really not concerned about that,” he said. “Our two big guns have had really big nights, just not at the same time yet.
“The other parts are rounding into form, and the new guys are getting more comfortable, too. So I’m encouraged about where we’re at.”
Vogel has also reiterated that the Lakers’ poor shooting was to be expected early into the NBA restart, and it does not concern him. “It’s just something that takes teams longer than others to round into form,” Vogel said.
“With the restart, it’s just something that’s been a little slow out of the gates. We believe it will be there when we need it.”
Laker stars worked on shooting form in a late-night practice
After the Lakers lost their third straight seeding game, falling 116-111 to the Indiana Pacers, James and Davis were among the players who headed to the gym that same night to make some extra shots in search of their offensive flow.
The Lakers seem determined to remedy their shooting woes, despite limited practice time in the bubble, and their effort seemingly paid off against the Pacers. They shot 33% from behind the arc and made 13 threes, the most so far in Orlando.
James looked rejuvenated and finished the game with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. And Quinn Cook exploded for 21 points, sinking five threes himself.
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