The Los Angeles Lakers have just one more seeding game before the beginning of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Between now and Aug. 17, head coach Frank Vogel will need to determine how to get the best out of the roster on both ends of the floor.
In the first five seeding games, the Lakers struggled mightily on the offensive end. In fact, they were the worst team in the Walt Disney World bubble in terms of scoring points. However, their defense kept them in a majority of those games and even won them two contests.
But that was in stark contrast to the last two games, where scoring seemed to be no issue, but stopping opposing teams was a whole new challenge.
Vogel recognized this flip, but is hopeful that defense will be easier to regain than offense. “I feel good. I really am confident in this group,” Vogel said. “Our defense slipped the last two games because we’ve been focusing so much on gaining an offensive rhythm, working in new guys and whatnot, but I feel very confident we can tighten the screws on the defensive end very quickly.
“We’ve got a lot of practice time between tonight’s game and the first game of the playoffs. We’ve got a lot of time to get some good work in and I’m very confident going into the playoffs with this group.”
Vogel and the Lakers will need to figure something out soon, as L.A. was wildly inconsistent in seven seeding games. In the first five, the Lakers averaged 98.8 points per game, giving up 106.8. In the last two games, the offense finally hit its stride at the expense of defense. They score — on average — 117.5 while allowing opponents to get 118.5.
Only in their win against the Utah Jazz have they been able to put together both stifling defense and solid offense. With just a few days until the beginning of the first round — and the Lakers opponent still unknown — they must begin to game plan how they can get both sides of the ball in sync.
LeBron James emphasized defense amid offensive issues
Before the Lakers’ jump shots began to fall, their defense is what kept them in basketball games. “The one thing you can do is defend,” LeBron James recently said.
“You can always communicate, you can communicate through a mistake that may happen, you have teammates that back you up if you do make a mistake or whatever the case may be. That communication on the defensive side should always be on point.”
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