The Los Angeles Lakers have been grappling with a mysterious issue since the start of the 2020-21 season: a striking disparity between their form at home and on the road.
L.A. remains unbeaten away from Staples Center, holding a perfect 7-0 record entering play Thursday, but surprisingly lost half of the games while playing host to their rivals. The Lakers have particularly struggled on the defensive end of the floor, owning the 16th defensive rating over the eight home games so far this season.
Interestingly, the same defense ranks top whenever playing on the road, amounting to being the only team in the NBA with a defensive rating below 100 (99.4).
But despite the numbers favoring the Lakers for their seven-game road trip, head coach Frank Vogel said he did not set a wins target. “I think that’s a postmortem type of thing,” he said.
“Once you get done with that seventh game, we went 5-2 on this trip, or 7-0, or 2-5. Wherever you end up, you evaluate then if it was a good trip or wasn’t a good trip.”
Vogel added his focus lay solely on the showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks that will set off the road trip as he did not want to look too far ahead into the future. “I know it’s cliché, but I’m really only focused on the Milwaukee Bucks,” he said.
“Other than making sure I didn’t forget anything when packing, the only thing on my mind is what we’ve got to do to beat the Milwaukee Bucks.”
Davis: Lakers motivated to bounce back against Bucks
Anthony Davis said L.A. was determined to rebound from their recent 115-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors .
The 27-year-old All-Star added the upsetting defeat hurt Lakers players, providing the team with extra motivation for the tough Milwaukee matchup. “We don’t like losing two in a row, so our next game, we’re going to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to win that game,” Davis said.
“Nobody in that locker room likes to lose. It’s a tough one. It’s one that we for sure should have won, so this one hurts a little bit more. We’ll watch the film when we get back together, try to figure out how to get better and get ready for Milwaukee.”
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