The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had a particularly hard schedule to start the season. Of the six teams they’ve played, only two of them finished with a top-10 record last season: the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks. They’ve gone 1-1 in those games.
However, just because the Lakers haven’t faced the toughest competition doesn’t mean their games haven’t been competitive. In fact, in their last two games, it’s taken big fourth quarter runs for them to come out on top despite the fact that they were miles better than their opposition on paper.
Frank Vogel expects that to be the norm for his team this season — especially since they won the championship last year — but he thinks it will benefit the Lakers as they continue to work their towards rebuilding their championship habits.
“Well, we know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Vogel said. “That’s the biggest challenge. Everybody’s best effort is going to come our way, and I’ve found that in not just the effort piece, the shot-making, the focus, the attention to detail, we’re going to get everybody’s best (in every way) throughout the year. But I’ve challenged our guys to embrace that as a blessing.
“If the other team is playing at their best every night, we’ll be forced to be at our best, and that’s going to push us and challenge us to be great. So to me this is a great thing for us, one that can lead to some challenges throughout the regular season, and maybe even some losses, but one that in the long run is going to help us come playoff time.”
The Lakers have responded to it well so far, only losing two of their seven games, and the hope is that they can use what they’ve learned in these games during the tougher stretches of their schedule.