The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to come out of the All-Star break on a positive note as they suffered yet another loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers have yet to beat the Clippers this season, but this recent defeat particularly stings because of the lack of games remaining to catch up in the standings. The Lakers certainly had their attempts to close out the night, but the final minute was marred by long review times that erased all game flow and momentum.
In a crucial possession where the Lakers were originally awarded the ball after, Clippers head coach Ty Lue challenged the call on the floor, which ultimately led to an overturn resulting in Clippers ball. Officials ruled that LeBron James was out of bounds before passing and there was apparently, enough evidence to hand possession to the Clippers.
It was a brutal blow to the Lakers, who were doing well going score for score with the Clippers, and head coach Frank Vogel expressed how upset he was after the game.
“It’s a complicated play. They’re going to take as much time as it takes to get it right. I disagree strongly with the ruling. I think it’s total B.S. They called the play dead when [Robert] Covington steps out of bounds and they try to tell me that that because it was close that play, that Bron was out of bounds, so then it’s going to be Clippers ball. The whistle doesn’t blow until Covington steps out of bounds. So to go back to Bron stepping out of bounds is a separate entity entirely. I couldn’t disagree more strongly with the ruling. If you are going to go back further than that, then how about LeBron got pushed out of bounds. Like why don’t we go back to that?
“It’s wrong. They were going to challenge either way whether I called a timeout or not and it should have been our ball in that situation. I’m very disappointed.”
The officials’ review took well over 10 minutes to conduct and it was surprising they changed the original call because of how long it took to make a decision. Normally in those situations, referees will stick with the call on the floor if they are unable to find clear and obvious evidence that they were incorrect.
Vogel has every right to be upset with the call, but it does not take away from the fact that their late-game execution could have also been better. With the Lakers down, their final shot attempt ended up being a Carmelo Anthony heave from well beyond the arc and that sealed their fate.
Bad beats are going to happen, but for the Lakers, they seem to be the norm. That will need to change as soon as Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans if they want to keep pace with the rest of the Western Conference.
Vogel disappointed with loss, not focused on totality of season
When asked about how disappointed he has been with this season, Vogel said his focus is only on the loss to the Clippers and how they could be better moving forward.
“My mind is only on tonight’s game. Disappointed in the loss and we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!