The Thunder scored 15-for-41 on the road from 3 The Thunder went 15-for 37 from 3 during their victory on Wednesday. The Lakers defense, which has been which was ranked among the top three in each in the last two years under the guidance of Frank Vogel, continues to be a bit behind. Following the Thunder defeat, L.A. is allowing 107.2 points per 100 possessions, which puts them in the bottom half of the league (17th). Lakers on the back foot in the lower quartile of league (17th).

Lakers

Davis was confronted about defensive mistakes clarified that the Lakers had been executing the strategies they were required to execute however, the Thunder were prepared to tear the Lakers down.

“I mean they knew what we were doing, kind of did that entire second half and their coach or Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], whoever it was that made the adjustment to put their players in the right spot,” Davis said. “And they made shots.”

Following Carmelo Anthony hit two late 3s to force one-possession play, Westbrook pushed the ball to the side of the court, but missed a three from the left wing with 3.5 seconds left instead of trying to locate the perfect hand.

“Not good enough,” Vogel expressed his opinion about Westbrook’s decision to shoot it. “We want to get a better shot than that. The spacing wasn’t great. We were trying to get Melo to the top of the floor, but the spacing wasn’t great.”

The Lakers have endured plenty of injuries that have hindered their new beginnings, LeBron James has missed their third match of the year but this time due to an abdominal strain likely to keep him out for for at least a week, and Davis was injured on his right thumb during the opening second half, but was able to play through it. There’s another factor that is hindering the team.

Teams, regardless of their records, appear to bring the game to L.A. and with an intensity that the Lakers appear ill-equipped to handle in the present.

“It’s something that we discuss. We talk about it all the time. Just understanding and owning the fact that guys will play, teams will play differently when they play against us,” said Anthony who scored 21 points and watched L.A. lose for the first time in the four games where he’s scored more than 20 points. “So it’s not the issue. It’s not something we do not talk about. We are aware of that we discuss it, we debate it, we discuss it.

“I mean, you look at like tonight for an example, [Darius] Bazley, right? I don’t want to say his stats, but we go over that stuff, we scout that. But he comes against us and he makes most of his 3s against us. So, it’s going to happen. We just got to own that. We got to accept that and just make sure we cut people’s water off when that time comes.”

The Lakers lose 19 points at home, and then fall before the Thunder.

The theory is that the Lakers are expected to improve their chemistry during the course of the season when they play more games, lower their learning curve and eliminate injury-prone players out of the trainer’s office. Like the time they took home the NBA trophy (2020) and suffered the first round of a flameout (2021) and 2021, the Lakers success in the championship will largely depend on James his fitness. It’s good news for the Lakers they do not anticipate James injuries to be too serious.

“Anytime LeBron is out and is going to miss some time, there’s obviously a concern,” Vogel stated. “But hopefully this is something that is minimal.”

Even regardless of whether the Lakers remain convinced that James his latest injury is not related to his left groin injury in 2017-18 or his ankle sprain in the high right (2020-21) However, the Lakers will remain vigilant regarding James his 36-year-old body.

So, it is likely the Lakers must learn how to navigate their regular schedule without James. A small sample size aside it is clear that they Lakers have already shown warning indications that their roster design could make them unprepared to face the challenge.

Although, the Lakers problems don’t fall completely on Westbrook. DeAndre Jordan has offered little protection to the rim. Anthony’s offensive prowess has been unbalanced by his weak defense. It was reported that the Lakers missed nine shots and four of them came of reserve Rajon Rondo during an entire five-minute period with only Davis and Westbrook playing on the floor. In spite of Davis insisting that he feels good, it’s hard not wonder if the injury to his thumb was a factor in his second-half game and his potential availability for Saturday’s game in Portland.

However, Anthony and Davis seem to be thriving in offense mainly due to their skills, as opposed to any playing skills Westbrook has provided. In spite of the obvious learning curves Westbrook has had to face being a part of the team with James, Westbrook has had the chance to slip back to a more comfortable position without James.

“We got to continue to learn what we’re asking him to do within our system,” Vogel stated. “One of those tasks is keeping turnovers to a minimum which he’s been doing better at. We need to continue to let him touch the ball and make the most opportunities.”

What if Westbrook could have done it with more precision during the last week’s game in the match against Oklahoma City. Instead, they’re left with questions regarding what time and when Westbrook can be the player they had in mind and can help them significantly whenever James is forced to be on the bench.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here