The Los Angeles Lakers had a chance to right their biggest wrong from this early season and exact some revenge on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Instead, Frank Vogel’s team again blew a double-digit lead and dropped their second game to the Thunder, which are the only wins of the season so far for Oklahoma City.
The Lakers led by as many as 19 points in the first half, and though things had gotten tighter, still went into the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead. But things unraveled from there as the Lakers allowed 35 Thunder points in the final quarter and despite a late push were unable to tie the game as Russell Westbrook missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Following the contest, Vogel did not hide his feelings or those of the entire Lakers locker room.
“It’s gonna take time, but that’s a game we should win and we all feel that way right now. Disappointed in obviously that fourth quarter and we’ll look at the tape tomorrow to get better.”
The Lakers currently sit at 5-4, but make no mistake, they look nothing like the championship contenders that many viewed them to be coming into the season. Even when accounting for the injuries that have occurred so far, especially the ones to LeBron James, these performances have been uninspiring so far.
Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, Vogel has always remained even-keeled and expressed confidence that he and the Lakers will figure things out. That has not changed as he still believes this team will come together, but he admitted that there must be more urgency at this stage.
“We don’t worry about stuff that we can’t control. We all want to win every game, badly. We want to be perfect right now. We have big-picture patience, but small-picture sense of urgency to get this right right away and to win these games in the short term. We fell short tonight, it’s disappointing but we’ll get back to work tomorrow, look at the film and get better from it.”
This is not the start the Lakers envisioned in any way. Injuries have already been an issue and even with a relatively easy schedule full of home games to begin this season, the Lakers have not performed to their expectations. It was always going to be a process for this team to come together, and Vogel will need to figure out the best way to turn things around.
Lakers’ Frank Vogel hopes LeBron James injury is minimal
One thing that will certainly help the Lakers be at their best level is LeBron James being on the court, but the Lakers’ leader will be out at least a week due to an abdominal strain. Vogel obviously hopes that James won’t be out too long.
“Any time LeBron’s out, and he’s gonna miss some time, there’s obviously concern. But hopefully this is something that’s minimal and hopefully he’ll be back soon.”
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