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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Did Anthony Davis admit that Lakers were outcoached in loss to Clippers?

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the in-arena rivals LA Clippers for the fourth consecutive time on Friday, and Anthony Davis had something interesting to say afterwards.

Following the Lakers’ nailbiting 119-115 loss to the Clippers, Davis credited Clippers coach Tyronn Lue’s playcalling down the stretch, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll. Davis said that Lue found ways to take advantage of the Lakers’ aggressive rotations.

For much of the night, Lakers coach Frank Vogel chose to blitz Clippers star Paul George off pick-and-rolls or to just send two defenders at him outright. Lue responded with creative sequences of ball and player movement, which sprung open role players like Luke Kennard (19 points on five threes) and Marcus Morris (21 points on six threes) for easy shots.

Lue’s play designs were particularly impressive in the final 90 seconds when the Clippers connected on multiple three-pointers to ice the victory.

Faigen was quick to note that he did not interpret Davis’ remarks as shade at Vogel. Instead, Faigen thought Davis was legitimately impressed with Lue’s tactical moves. But even if it was unintentional, this still reads as an implicit admission that Vogel was outcoached by Lue. In a game of adjustments and counter-adjustments, good coaching can mean the difference between a win and a loss. It is especially so in a narrow contest like Friday night’s Lakers-Clippers game that was tight throughout the fourth quarter.

Vogel is under the microscope right now for the 12-12 Lakers. Players other than Davis do not seem to be too thrilled with Vogel’s coaching either. While Davis’ remarks here probably weren’t a diss of Vogel, it is never encouraging to hear a player admit that an opposing coach successfully took advantage of their team.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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