The Los Angeles Lakers’ defense hit rock bottom in Friday’s 130-108 loss to the Boston Celtics after struggling on that end of the floor for weeks.
For large swaths of the game, Boston faced no pressure from the Lakers’ defense which allowed the hosts to build a 25-point lead toward the end of the night. Celtics players had no trouble getting into L.A.’s paint or finding open looks on the perimeter.
After the game, Anthony Davis called on the team to put in more effort and improve communication on the defensive end. Carmelo Anthony echoed the 28-year-old All-Star’s words.
“You can’t teach that, that’s just something that we have to do. Communicate, effort,” Anthony said.
“There’s no Xs and Os for that. But that’s what [Anthony Davis] said and we support that. He’s a leader of this team, so if that’s what he feels, that’s what he sees, then we have to support that and we have to fix that and have the correct that.”
The Lakers completely surrendered in the paint on Friday, allowing the Celtics to outscore them 56-36 in the protected area. Notably, L.A. also gave up 51 rebounds while collecting just 33 themselves.
Anthony pointed to the Lakers’ lack of effort as the main factor in the Celtics’ dominance around the rim.
“I just think that comes down to effort, 12 offensive rebounds, getting outrebounded by 13, by more than that. But that’s just effort,” he said.
“That’s just effort and energy, things that we have to do. We have to get the 50-50 basketballs. If that’s diving on the floor, whatever we got to do to go get those 50-50 basketballs, we got to do. But as far as rebounding, we can be better at rebounding the basketball.
“To get outrebounded 51 to 33 tonight is just something that’s not a part of our makeup as a team.”
Frank Vogel slams Lakers’ rebounding
Davis pointed out the Lakers did a particularly bad job at boxing the Celtics out to collect boards by themselves. Head coach Frank Vogel seconded that, saying his switches between man-to-man and zone defense won’t make up for surrounding the glass.
“It doesn’t matter if you are in a man or zone, you got to box out, which we didn’t do time after time again,” Vogel said.
“The rebounding was atrocious and we got to be better.”
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