The Los Angeles Lakers have maintained incredible defensive energy, even without their stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Frank Vogel’s scheme has allowed L.A. to keep games close with their defense.
On Sunday, they held the No. 1 offense in basketball — the L.A. Clippers — to just 104 points, over 10 points below their game average.
However, it was the offense that was the cause of the Lakers’ 104-86 loss at Staples Center. Of the eight players to play at least 10 minutes, only two shot greater than 50% from the field, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol. As a team, the Lakers shot 40% from the field and 30.4% from three. Those types of numbers will make it impossible to beat a team like the Clippers.
Vogel spoke about the offensive woes in the blowout loss. “Credit to the Clippers’ defense. They got up into us. We didn’t handle our pressure well enough at all and when we did we had a tough shooting night. Tough shooting night at the rim. Missed nine layups, 21 shots in the paint. Tough shooting night at the 3-point line as well.
“We just have to play through their pressure and physicality better than we did tonight. We’ll get back to the drawing board tomorrow look at the film and improve for next game.”
This is not just a one-game issue for the Lakers. In the last eight games, both without James and Davis, L.A. is only averaging 100 points per game. Over a whole season, this would rank dead last by almost three points. As a team, they are also shooting 43.2% from the field and 33.7% from three, both numbers that simply won’t win many games.
Luckily, they’ll have some chances on their upcoming road trip to play beatable teams. If they can just steal one or two wins in the next five games, they could be in decent shape for when Davis and James eventually return.
Vogel discusses Gasol’s role moving forward
Even though Andre Drummond may return soon, once again removing Gasol from the starting lineup, Vogel has plans for how he can impact the game.
“Marc is a winner. He fits what we’re trying to do. He’s dominating on the defensive end and offensively with his passing and we got a lot of guys that can score the basketball, so his ability to facilitate offensively is something that has really helped us have success on the floor.”
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