The defense continues to cause problems for the Los Angeles Lakers with head coach Frank Vogel recently admitting the inability to make stops cost his team dearly in the last two games.
L.A. allowed their rivals to shoot over 54% from the field in the losses to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday and Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, giving up season-high 70 points in the paint against the latter.
The Lakers paid a hefty price for the defensive slump. The two defeats ended their four-game winning streak and brought them back down to .500 on the season.
The Lakers had an extra day to figure out how to patch up their leaky defense before Saturday’s game with the Denver Nuggets. After the loss to the Kings, LeBron James said he hoped the Lakers would make the most out of the rare two-day break.
“We want to continue to just work on our habits and obviously defensively is where we hang our hats and pretty much where we lost the game tonight was defense,” James said. “It wasn’t there as it’s been over the last few weeks.
“We get an opportunity, we get a couple days in between, where we can get better and learn from it, learn how we can be better going forward. And then we play a team on Saturday that’s right there, we all in the same mix as far as seeding.”
L.A. will enter the Saturday clash right behind Denver in the Western Conference’s standings. The Lakers trail the sixth-placed Nuggets by 1.0 games.
Frank Vogel: Lakers’ practice turned into ’spirited session’ ahead of Nuggets game
Head coach Frank Vogel said the Lakers were particularly determined to fix their problematic defense after the loss to the Kings — to the extent they’ve had a “spirited session” in the film room.
“All the breakdowns of the Kings game,” Vogel said, asked about the details of their effort in training.
“Giving up 70 points in the paint. You are not going to win if you do that. We called every single one of them out and all the ways that we can be better.”
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