Lakers remain focused on improvement after preseason opener

first_imgSome of the hallmarks that the Lakers are looking for were there against Golden State: The team was pleased with 32 assists, a plus-21 rebounding margin, and holding the Warriors to under 40 percent shooting. Golden State never led.But the strongest takeaway from the Lakers’ locker room was that the team is a work in progress. None of the players were celebrating a preseason win – they recognized it as a positive first step in a much longer journey, one they’re all invested in. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Vogel said it’s no surprise that there’s a sense of togetherness at the moment. In training camp, there’s plenty of buy-in, before the coaching staff has to start dividing minutes and other critical decisions that tend to fray a team’s cohesiveness. But how they’ve started has been encouraging, he said.“I do feel more in particular like this group is locked in to what we’re – the framework of what we’re trying to do on both ends of the floor,” he said. “What our identity is supposed to look like and what the blueprint for our plan looks like. I think they’re locked into that, believe in it and hopefully, we’ll grow in executing it.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat seemed to apply to many of the other Lakers as well. Despite scoring 22 points in a half, Davis seemed even-keeled, mentioning that the team needs to tighten both its transition defense and pick-and-roll coverage. Avery Bradley was happy with his start at guard, but picked at his 0-for-3 shooting night. Even Coach Frank Vogel, who seemed willing to let himself enjoy the result of his first game on the Lakers’ sideline, was concerned about the number of fouls and turnovers.The common ground the Lakers have found so far in constructive criticism might be the most essential element of their chemistry. Danny Green, who played for the title-winning Raptors last season, said he felt reasonably comfortable that the Lakers are on track to building a contender.“I know it’s early but a lot of guys are building some good relationships off the court which is more important than anything,” he said. “And to actually be able to communicate and talk to each other, take criticism and move forward and help each other. We’re not competing against each other, we’re being a group, doing it together, collectively trying to help each other. Even the guys who are trying to fight for minutes.”Related Articlescenter_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers SAN FRANCISCO — Most of the trappings of the new Chase Center went unappreciated by LeBron James on Saturday evening. He saw the entrance to the new $1.4 billion arena but then headed straight to the locker room.James also went through a pregame shooting routine, something he didn’t do much of last season. And after the Lakers had secured a 123-101 win to open the preseason, there wasn’t much on James’ face that registered joy or excitement – just a business-like focus.“I think from the start of training camp, from our minicamp in Vegas to now, I think we’ve gotten better every day,” he said. “And our communication, and our cohesiveness and our togetherness has gotten better every day. And it’s translated to the floor so far, so that’s good for our start.”There’s been an intensity to James in the week since training camp opened, an intensity that came across Saturday night in the locker room as he spoke to the media. He barely permitted himself to smile following a debut alongside Anthony Davis that lived up to much of the hype. It might be that James is more mindful than ever, particularly on the heels of a disappointing campaign last season, how much more of the marathon there is to go. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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