As winners of the Pacers, the Lakers may have returned to the saddle this 2021-22 season. For this they tried absolutely everything to ensure the end result! Even if it means using a rather inappropriate formation at the end of the meeting.
It’s official, the Lakers still know how to win crucial games. Defeated by New York the night before, the Angelinos rebounded with a 124-116 win after overtime against the Pacers (Summary here). Back after his argument with the Pistons Lebron James was particularly royal with 39 points and helped muzzle his own Indiana in extra time (12-4).
A very important victory for the Californians, especially since they once again had to do without one of their superstars. If the King was back after his abdominal injury and suspension, this time it was Anthony Davis who was missing. The inside was sick and left the red and gold racket orphaned from its best element. Not practical if you have to make friends with Domantas Sabonis and other Myles Turner …
Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington in the 5 to finish the game
So coach Frank Vogel had to play a magician for the entire game and adapt his lineups to the current situation with all imaginable tricks. Even if it means doing enough WTF training! At the end of the fourth quarter and then in extra time, he relied on a very special major five. Leaving incumbent talent Horton-Tucker, Avery Bradley and DeAndre Jordan, hello to three substitutes for almost the entire period mentioned:
“I’m 400% underpaid by the Lakers, nobody is counting on me”
An absurd alignment to say the least, especially since the chosen one played both the playmaker role in attack and … the pivot across the field. Not necessarily something he’s used to! However, as he revealed after the meeting, the experience seems anything but uncomfortable. On the contrary, it could have allowed him to lead his teammates in defense, and with some success:
“I’m able to get all the coverage before the teams even get into it … it resulted in us getting some stops.” LeBron James with @LakersReporter on the defense on the center position and his plans for Thanksgiving. #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/w7GXwSANxX
– Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 25, 2021
I can announce all of the covers before the teams even start … it allowed us to make a few stops.
Anything is good to win a game especially when you are desperate. Fortunately for the Lakers, the game of poker was a winner. An encouraging sign on a tactical level for Frank Vogel and his coaching staff.