The Los Angeles Lakers received what was believed to be a favorable opening schedule with 12 of their first 15 games coming at Staples Center. But things are set to change for Frank Vogel’s team as the Lakers are set to embark on their second road trip of the season and longest to date by far.
The Lakers begin a five-game East Coast swing that begins with a trip to Milwaukee to take on the reigning NBA Champion Bucks and is also includes their one trip to Boston to face the rival Celtics and their lone contest at Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks.
Sitting at 8-7 is not how the Lakers envisioned their season beginning and the team has faced some terrible losses recently. As such, Vogel is looking forward to this trip in hopes that it could bring the team closer together.
“We welcome the road trip,” Vogel said following the team’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. “It will be good for us. We’ve been struggling. A little but up and down, fighting for consistency. A change of environment should be good for us.”
A good road trip can often be good for struggling teams and those who need to build chemistry which the Lakers certainly fall under. Being on the road allows for a lot of team bonding and can help a team with many new players to come closer together.
That is certainly what Vogel is hoping to see with this team and young guard Talen Horton-Tucker shares that mindset.
“The road is definitely a place where our bonding has to come together,” Horton-Tucker said. “The whole team just has to gel a little bit more on the road and we’re gonna be just with each other, so you have no other choice but to kind of get that chemistry up. So we’re just gonna try to get better from here, get better every day.”
The Lakers are no stranger to these types of trips getting them on the right track as their annual Grammy road trip was long seen as the time to get everything together before making a playoff push. Obviously, this is much too early in the season to prepare for that, but the opportunity is there for this to kickstart the Lakers righting the ship.
This team fully believes it should be a championship contender but hasn’t played like it so far this season, and being able to come together on the road could be exactly what is needed to begin playing to expectations.
Horton-Tucker happy to be on the court with Lakers teammates again
For Horton-Tucker, this road trip represents more time being back on the court with his Lakers teammates. The third-year guard has looked good in his first regular-season action after damaging ligaments in his thumb and poured in a career-high 28 points in the team’s loss to the Bulls. But regardless of the result, Horton-Tucker is happy to be back on the court.
“Being able to play here at STAPLES, it’s a real feeling,” Horton-Tucker said after his return game against the San Antonio Spurs. “Just being able to be with my teammates again. I always tell everybody, like just with the group we have, actually being able to get out there and play with them is a blessing for me, so I’m just appreciative of it.”
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