Lakers coach Frank Vogel reacts to impressive defensive effort vs. Heat
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers have now won seven straight games after dropping their season opener to the L.A. Clippers. LeBron James and company made easy work of a scrappy defensive-minded team led by Jimmy Butler on Friday night. The Miami Heat couldn’t keep up with this revamped Lakers squad as Frank Vogel’s team kicked it into high gear in the second half leading to yet another win, 95-80.
As per usual, the Lakers were led by the superstar duo of James and Anthony Davis. These two perennial All-Star combined for 51 points in what turned out to be a rout. Although the Heat defense gave the Lakers some trouble at times during the first half, Los Angeles proved to be too much handle as the Lakers continue to prove to be a legitimate title contender in the Western Conference.
“When you have a great defense, your offense can come and go,” Frank Vogel said of the Lakers’ defensive effort against Miami. “Our analytics guy sent us a report that we contested 88 percent of their shots throughout the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of that, but that just a really exceptional effort on the defensive end for our guys.”
Los Angeles put on a defensive showcase against Miami holding the team that had won all but one of their games this season to an abysmal 35 percent from the floor. The Heat struggled all night long with their shooting and couldn’t get much to fall from beyond the arc either finishing at 17.1 percent from three-point range.
The one significant difference between this Lakers team compared to last year’s squad with the exception of the addition of Davis is their effort on defense. This year’s team is very motivated to be a force on defense, and it has shown throughout the first eight games of the season.
If the Lakers can continue to put together performances like this against playoff-caliber teams, the sky is the limit for this new-look roster as they may very well be as good as any other team in the league at this point in the season.