In their first match since word got out Frank Vogel’s seat was reportedly hot, the Lakers He jumped to the top early but again collapsed completely in the second half to lose him Indiana Pacers Vogel’s former team – 111-104. It’s the first time the Pacers have won
Staples Center Crypto.com Arena since 2015, when Vogel was still patrolling the sidelines of Indiana.
Despite Vogel’s return to the starting line-up, Dwight Howard lost the Pacers Once reported, the Lakers’ trading target is Miles Turner, Indiana is still booming in paint. This was especially true below the sprawl as Los Angeles’ aging roster ran out in a time of crisis. Karis Levert could not be stopped of late, as the worst team in the NBA managed to snuff out the Lakers thanks to Levert’s 30-point performance and capped the dominant fourth quarter with 24 points.
After a two-game break from the 30-point threshold, LeBron James crossed it again on Wednesday, finishing the game with 30 points and 12 rebounds, but his defense was noticeably absent along the stretch, and King finished the team’s worst -22. Russell Westbrook finished with 14 points but went 4-6 from three, his first game with at least three throws since November 23 in New York. He only finished 5-17 off the field overall, however, and has been shooting on the ice lately.
Carmelo Anthony returned to the spin after missing the previous three games with back pain and immediately provided a much-needed scoring spark to the Lakers’ bench with 14 points, but struggled with a three-point span, going 0-5 from deep. Talen Horton-Tucker was perhaps the biggest silver lining in this game among all the Lakers, losing 20 points on a 9-14 shootout, along with 7 assists and a +12 high team.
After such an encouraging victory over the good Utah Jazz on Monday, it was especially painful in a season filled with them to see the Lakers collapse embarrassingly and lose this hard to one of the worst Indiana Pacers in years. As many on this site have pointed out, in our podcasts and just about everywhere else on the basketball web, it’s hard to mistake Vogel significantly for that or expect his dismissal to fix much of anything. This list may look good on paper, but its perceived strength on attack hasn’t been achieved enough to make up for its massive weaknesses in defense.
Yes, it’s particularly well suited to a defensive specialist like Vogel, whose better-trained squads – which, ironically, were part of the two franchises playing tonight – have imposed their will on defending and allowing attack to flow from there. But neither Phil Handy nor David Fizdale nor Mike Penberthy can wave a magic wand and change this roster back into a roster for Vogel 2019-20. And no, neither can Rob Pelinka. There is no savior coming through the trade market even if the Lakers make major changes. This season, as many Lakers fans have probably realized by now, has been largely lost except for a miracle that became less and less likely to be imagined with each passing defeat. The only thing that looks very likely at the moment is the imminent dismissal of the Los Angeles Lakers’ first title-winning coach since Phil Jackson.
Picking up right from where they left off Monday’s win early, the Lakers scored 32 points in the first quarter thanks to some lucky shots and other welcoming energy from the starting lineup. But Indiana rebounded from the Lakers’ 14-point lead midway through the second quarter, continuing just before the break and that momentum continued into the second half as the Lakers began to cool off. Although the teams slipped back and forth in the third quarter, it delayed the inevitable collapse of purple and gold. Now, we wait to see what the fallout will be for Vogel and the coaching staff after a loss like this for a .500 sub-team.
The Lakers begin a wild ride on Friday, heading to Orlando to face the magic at 4 p.m. PT Thursday. We’ll have to see if Vogel stays long enough to take on another of his former teams on that one.
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