Coming off a loss, Lakers face stiff test in Nuggets

Coming off a loss, Lakers face stiff test in Nuggets

August 17, 2020 qnbblzgg 0

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“When the better teams come into this building, or when we play them on the road, the margin of error is very slim,” Green said. “You can’t have as many slip-ups or dig yourself a hole and think you’re going to come back against those better teams.”The Lakers hoped to learn this lesson without losing. Before a blowout of the Washington Wizards, Coach Frank Vogel asked his team to not wait until they had been beaten to start turning around some bad habits: slow-developing offensive possessions, not hitting the glass consistently, allowing 3-point shooters to throw up uncontested looks. They responded in that game, and the first half against the Mavericks, looking very much like the contender that their record says they are.But that began to unravel in the third quarter against the Mavericks, leading to their third loss of the season, all against teams that have looked like early playoff contenders.On Monday, Vogel was named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month for October/November for the team’s 17-2 start, which is tremendous even by the Lakers’ lofty standards. But on Sunday afternoon, he recognized the upcoming stretch against Denver, Utah and Portland – all of whom reached the playoffs last season – would be a truer test of his coaching mettle.“That’s part of growing together – how you respond to losses,” he said. “And couldn’t have a tougher opponent coming up with the next game.” DENVER — It might have been a cold. With LeBron James, it’s sometimes hard to tell.As a reporter asked Danny Green if he felt “disbelief” on Sunday night, when the Dallas Mavericks led by 20 for much of the fourth quarter, James made a loud noise from behind the scrum, halfway between a cough and a scoff, as if to answer the question himself.This Lakers’ team (17-3) isn’t demoralized by losing. They knew a winning streak, which lasted 10 games this time, would come to an end sooner or later.But still: They’re not eager to feel that again. And there’s some recognition within the locker room that, at the very least, it will be harder to manufacture the kind of comebacks that they’ve produced in their league-leading start. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Related Articles The Nuggets (13-4) are a largely intact group from the team that was one win away from reaching the Western Conference finals last spring, led by Jamal Murray (18.5 ppg) and Nikola Jokic (15.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 6 apg). Adding to the challenge of adjusting to the mile-high altitude of the Pepsi Center, Denver also has the top defensive rating in the league and allows a league-low 101.8 points per game. The Nuggets will have the benefit of an extra day of rest.Anthony Davis vowed a “bounce-back” game, and when asked if it would be realistic to never lose back-to-back games, James said realistic “is a mindset.”Throughout the locker room, there was a strong sense that the future schedule is within their control, that they are the team that their record indicates.“I think we know who we are, we’re a veteran team,” Kyle Kuzma said. “We kinda know what we need to do and who we are and what kind of intensity we need to bring. We’ll be fine.”Their upcoming gauntlet will test how well that confidence is founded. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs last_img

 

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