Skip to main content

"We fell short tonight but I was pleased with the effort” -- Frank Vogel commends LeBron-less Lakers for competing hard despite loss to the Sixers

A huge reason Los Angeles kept the game competitive from the get-go were their young studs Malik Monk and Stanley Johnson.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and head coach Frank Vogel

LeBron James was out against the Philadelphia 76ers

With LeBron James in street clothes, the Los Angeles Lakers put up a strong fight but failed to garner stops late in the game as they fell short to the Philadelphia Sixers (121-126) at home.

Both Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook led the way with 24 points each. Still, the most inspiring and admirable factor for the Lakers was the competitive spirit and tenacity against a healthy Sixers squad on Wednesday.

According to Frank Vogel, this is the mentality the Lakers can carry on as they look to finish the season strongly.

"We fell short tonight, but I was pleased with the effort," Vogel said. "I was proud of how we competed, and we continue to evolve."

Role players showed up

Los Angeles kept the game competitive from the get-go because of their young studs in Malik Monk and Stanley Johnson. Johnson started the game on fire, knocking down all three of his long-range attempts. He had 13 points while Monk contributed 23 points in the contest.

"There's no win for us tonight but the effort is something we can continue," Johnson said. The 25-year-old forward also added that he's slowly finding his groove as he continues to develop in his role.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Speaking of fitting in their roles, Westbrook also said that the team is "sliding into their roles a little bit better," which has contributed to their improved play lately. But Despite their recent awakening, the Lakers still severely lack continuity due to multiple injuries and players being in and out of the lineup.

Wednesday's starting-five of Stanley Johnson-Wenyen Gabriel- Dwight Howard-Austin Reaves and Westbrook played for the first time together this season. To put that in another perspective, the Sixers' new starting five with James Harden in the mix has played 11 times which is more than any other Lakers starting five this season.

Sadly, moral victories don't count

The Lakers' admirable effort and competitive spirit on Wednesday are worth praising, but this loss still stains on the record (31-42).

They're still in danger of falling out of the play-in tournament as the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs are slowly creeping in and looking to overtake them. This means that the next two games against the Pelicans will be vital for the Lakers if they want to clinch a spot in the play-in.

"It's going to be a playoff-type of atmosphere for us. It's definitely a must-win, I believe for our group," Westbrook said.

If the Lakers do end up clinching the ninth or tenth seed (which is the likeliest outcome), they will have to win two games in a row to make the playoffs. The last time the Purple and Gold won two straight games was on January 5 and 8, when they went on a four-game winning streak.

Vogel still believes that the Lakers can prosper despite their inability to win games, especially if the team is healthy moving forward.

"We're hoping those games are going to be played with Anthony Davis," Vogel said.

Steve Kerr reflects on Jason Kidd’s transition from a superstar on the court to one of the top coaches in the league

Steve Kerr reflects on Jason Kidd’s transition from a superstar on the court to one of the top coaches in the league

Kerr notes how players of Kidd's caliber are rarely ever able to make the transition to coaching like Kidd has, making him quite a unique coach

Serge Ibaka reminds players not to sit out too long unless 'you're Kawhi or Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry

Serge Ibaka reminds players not to sit out too long unless 'you're Kawhi or Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry

When Ibaka realized he was out of the rotation after a devastating injury, he was prompted to make a tough decision and set an example to his fellow NBA players

John Salley on Larry Bird vs. Bill Limber fight

John Salley on the Bill Laimbeer vs. Larry Bird fight: "He hit him very legal"

Most people agree that Bill Laimbeer was the one who initiated the brawl with Larry Bird. But John Salley, Bill's former teammate, sees the incident differently.

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen addresses his dirty player reputation ”It's who I am”

Bruce Bowen shares his honest take on being tagged as a dirty player.

stephen-a-smith-patrick-beverly-min

Patrick Beverly goes off on Stephen A. Smith: "You need to be drug tested. Get off the weed man!"

Safe to say, Pat Bev disagreed with Stephen A.'s take regarding James Harden and his possible new max contract.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton’s video game obsession will cost him a lot, on and off the court

DeAndre Ayton's love for video games reduces his sleeping time to two hours on some nights. This isn't good news to fans and the front office that is not keen on giving him a max extension.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler

“I know what I’m capable of” — Jimmy Butler shines the brightest as the Miami Heat draws first blood against the Boston Celtics

After a remarkable 42-point half, the Heat limited the Celtics to shoot just 2 out 15 from the field (13.3%) in the third quarter

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.