The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Sacramento Kings at 10:30 a.m. PT on Thursday. The tipoff time for their final seeding game had not been set when the NBA previously unveiled the restart schedule.
The matchup will be the final seeding game for both teams and will not hold much meaning. The Lakers have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, while the Kings have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Still, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel can use the game as an opportunity to continue experimenting with lineup combinations for what he suggested could be be a 10-man playoff rotation.
For the players, it is another chance for them to get their legs under them and build more rhythm individually and as a team. The Lakers have not quite recaptured the elite level of play they had prior to the season’s hiatus, but they are trending in the right direction, especially after a win against the Denver Nuggets.
What was more encouraging was their success from beyond the arc as they drained 14-of-29 attempts behind the arc, notably converting on their looks in crunch time.
“It was definitely great to see some of our shots from the exterior go in,” LeBron James said after the win. “And even down the stretch, D.G. hit two big threes, Kuz was big, and I tried to get a good feel for my shot as well. It was definitely a good night for us on the perimeter.”
Frank Vogel remains confident in Lakers
The Lakers were able to snap a three-game skid with their win against the Nuggets, looking much more confident offensively and digging in to make plays when needed.
After their game against the Kings, Los Angeles will have four days off before the playoffs begin. Health is obviously the most important factor, and with a couple of players dealing with nagging injuries, it may be in Vogel’s best interest to use their final seeding game as an opportunity to get a look at the end of the bench.
The head coach seems encouraged with how his team is progressing and seems ready to tackle the postseason. “I feel good, Vogel said.
“I really am confident in this group. 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.”
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