The Los Angeles Lakers are getting ready to face the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Frank Vogel, Lakers head coach, talked about stopping the Nuggets’ offense and their stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
“It’s really remarkable what he’s been able to do during this playoff run,” Vogel said about Murray’s playoff performances. “I think losing Will Barton in their rotation and Gary Harris being hurt for a while it led to Jamal being more aggressive offensively and with that he was able to put up some amazing numbers. It seems like we are getting the hottest player in the league just about every time we are in a playoff series.”
“We just got to make sure that we stick to the things that have been working for us in the first couple of rounds with our defense and try to apply it to this series.”
Vogel also spoke about Denver’s offensive style and how different it is from some of the other teams the Lakers have faced.
“They’ve got a different offensive approach than some of the teams we’ve faced. Each team has its own challenges in terms of how to slow down great players,” he said. “This deep in the playoffs that’s what it’s all about. Each team we’re going to play is going to have a couple of great players with a great supporting cast or support system in terms of three-point shooting. That’s what this team has.
“If we bring too much help to either one of these two guys who both are willing passers, the rest of the guys have been knocking down threes at an extremely high rate. So it’s not an either or. We got to do both. We got to take away their top options and make sure we don’t get beat on the back side as well.”
When it comes to containing Jokic, Vogel talked about the uniqueness of the Serbian center. “He’s one of the most unique players in the game. He really can do it all. He’s a big time threat in the post. He’s terrific at catching the ball in the pocket so if you double team Jamal Murray too much and give the ball to the Joker… He’s one of the best decision makers and passers in the game.”