The Los Angeles Lakers struggled to make shots in both seeding games as the NBA restart began at Walt Disney World.
While the defense allowed them to overcome their offensive shortcomings in a 103-101 victory over the L.A. Clippers, the Toronto Raptors comfortably defeated the Lakers 107-92 while taking advantage of their sloppy shooting on Saturday.
The defending champions kept Laker stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis at bay throughout the game and the duo scored only 34 points combined. James previously said he was not surprised the Lakers were out of sync offensively in Orlando considering how long was their break from competitive basketball.
However, he lauded the team’s defense and added the extra effort in their own halfcourt is what the Lakers have to focus on while the offense is catching up.
Meanwhile, head coach Frank Vogel admitted he was expecting the defense to be the driving force in the early stages of the NBA restart for the Lakers. “I always anticipate defense is going to be ahead of the offense in training camp, preseason or early in the season,” Vogel said.
“Our defense is performing really well. I think there’s an element of when you’re working that hard on the defensive end, you’ve got to be sure your legs are under you to make shots on the other end. Hopefully that will come.”
Vogel also noticed other teams invited to the Orlando bubble have also been struggling with maintaining balance between their offense and defense, sometimes with results opposite to those of the Lakers.
“You’ve seen different types of styles of play [in the bubble],” he noted. “Some teams, their offense is way ahead of their defense.”
Vogel not worried about Green’s shooting
Danny Green went 0-for-7 against his former team after making only two shots against the Clippers. JR Smith replaced Green in the third quarter, but Vogel says the substitution was concerned with a lineup adjustment and moving Davis to the center position rather than the guard’s shooting.
The Lakers’ coach is also not planning any changes to his starting lineup and is confident the guard will bounce back offensively in future games. “We believe Danny is going to make shots. He didn’t tonight but he’ll have nights like that from time to time in his career. He’s a proven professional shooter,” Vogel said.
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