Every blowout seems to feel like rock bottom, but the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Denver Nuggets might have been the absolute floor for this team.
The opening of the game indicated the Lakers would be able to keep pace with the Nuggets, but the matchup quickly turned sideways for Los Angeles after Denver caught fire from the field. The defense was nearly non-existent as the Nuggets simply had their way on the offensive end and the Lakers were left with more questions than answers.
Head coach Frank Vogel took the time to detail the team’s loss in-depth, citing issues on both sides of the floor.
“I think when you’re getting your tails kicked you’re going to see bad body language,” Vogel said. “I don’t think that’s ever not the case, but we got to be better in terms of pushing through. We did start the game with decent energy. Joker creates a lot of problems for our defense, for any defense. Creates a lot of mismatches. You need to double team and they made us pay every single time, so credit them for playing a hell of a game offensively. Shooting the crap out of the basketball, but we got to be better.
“We got to get back to the drawing board and get our defense right. We haven’t performed well enough in the last few games on that side of the ball and offensively we’re not moving the way we did for a stretch. We were playing the five out and playing through the next man as much. We’re not attacking the paint as much as we’ve been and the ball is stopping too much. There’s some things we can definitely correct and will correct, but also definitely have to improve on the defensive side of the ball.”
Vogel made sure to give Denver their due but admitted he was frustrated with how things played out. “It’s very frustrating, but again, credit the [Denver] Nuggets. We had a plan to try to minimize the mismatches that Joker created and every time they got into something, they scored. We didn’t handle it well. They were great with their counters and we definitely have to get back to the drawing board.”
At this point, it is fair to wonder whether or not L.A. is in need of a major shakeup and their showing against the Utah Jazz on Monday may end up being the deciding factor.
Frank Vogel calls out Lakers effort
At certain points, it felt like the Lakers were going through the motions and Vogel called out the team for their lack of intensity and effort.
“It’s not good enough. We have a new group that we’re trying to get these guys to learn our system, learn our double teams and learn each other on the fly. We haven’t had much practice time to get this group as connected as we needed to be and we’re working on it. We’re doing everything we can, but definitely not where we want to be.”
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