To say the Lakers have been underwhelming is an understatement, especially on defense. Fans have blamed head coach Frank Vogel through this period and have called for his firing. But Vogel has continued to do his job and challenged the team to be better every night.
After the Lakers' impressive win against the Detroit Pistons at Staples on Sunday night, Vogel was pleased with their performance, stating that a lot more work needs to be done. Speaking about the team's spacing, he said (7:00):
"I like how our whole team is playing. Two games in a row where they've reached my challenge that I put on them to really become a team-first team in terms of sharing the basketball and getting 30 assists. Last game we had 32 and tonight we had 30. We got ours in 48 minutes tonight instead of 63 minutes the other night, but it's still 30 assists two games in a roll, and that's what you want from our guy, just to share that rock."
It was a surprise to see that the Lakers reached 30 assists against the Indiana Pacers, seeing how the game was set up. Frank confirmed that LeBron James was allowed to orchestrate the offense for most of the game, which led to a lot of isolation plays.
LeBron is undoubtedly the best passer on the Lakers team, and he showed that by dishing out nine dimes against the Pistons. He finished the game with 33 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds while shooting 60% from the field and a +14 plus/minus.
Russell Westbrook is another elite-level passer on the team who has helped in the Lakers ball movement. He also registered nine assists against the Pistons, adding 25 points and 6 rebounds.
Vogel will hope for more of that as the Lakers travel to Sacramento to face off against the Kings on Tuesday. They were responsible for holding the Lakers triple overtime, and eventually stealing the win despite missing two of their starters.