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Hawks feel the sting of back-to-backs with Clippers and Lakers

LOS ANGELES &#8212 For a mentor whose staff had been rocked by 49 points the evening prior to, Lloyd Pierce sounded awfully fired up for a turnaround of considerably less than 24 several hours back at Staples Center.

One day immediately after permitting 150 points by the Clippers and an hour-and-a-50 percent prior to idea-off from the Western Conference-top Lakers, Pierce advised the Hawks could have commitment to turn around their exertion.

“With the way we performed final evening, with the effectiveness we had final evening, I’m far more fired up about acquiring back on the courtroom tonight, no matter of who the opponent is. Just, that is a negative flavor you leave with immediately after final evening and so the greatest cure for it is to get back on the courtroom and exam your perseverance and your resiliency and see if we can bounce back.”

It did not choose extensive prior to Pierce was in all probability next-guessing that optimism. The Lakers led by 17-2 in the to start with quarter and by as considerably as 28 in the to start with 50 percent. And it is heading to be a problem for a host of teams earning speedy swings by L.A. to experience both of Southern California’s superpowers &#8212 Oklahoma will get the company Monday from the Clippers, then Tuesday from the Lakers.

The back-to-back L.A. swing is setting up to appear like a big benefit for both home teams, forcing website visitors to offer with two good teams on a limited turnaround. Frank Vogel, on the other hand, who coached in the Eastern Conference in Indiana and Orlando prior to moving out west, disagreed.

“I think it is benefit whenever you can clear away a flight, so these teams that are coming to the developing are benefitting from the new journey plan,” he mentioned. “It may perhaps be hurting the Lakers and the Clippers a very little bit.”

Tell that to the Hawks.

But the gain may perhaps be far more in the extensive run: The Lakers themselves are doing a Knicks-Nets back-to-back in January when they visit New York, acquiring out of earning two far more cross-country flights all through a extensive, grinding journey plan. The Lakers are traveling an believed 10,000 less miles this year than final, which could assistance cut down other varieties of fatigue.

In the limited expression, Pierce acknowledged, it can really feel like pretty the uphill battle.

“Back-to-back on the road is difficult no matter of who it is,” he mentioned. “Obviously you received two specific teams with a good deal of specific talent in both of the L.A. teams so it tends to make it very complicated.”

Pierce reflects on time with Kuzma, James

Of the decorated United states of america Basketball coaching staff members, Lloyd Pierce was just one of the lessen profile names performing along with Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr. But he labored with a selection of younger players on the United states of america roster, such as Kyle Kuzma.

Like Popovich, Pierce came absent with good impressions.

“I enjoy that kid,” he mentioned. “I think he, out of all the men that were with the Crew United states of america from begin to complete, I thought that he was the male that really bought in to how we were heading to use him. We were heading to use him as a smaller ball 5, we were heading to use him as a four. But I thought his electricity, his athleticism on both finishes of the ground, it was a thing that he bought into as a function.”

Pierce received his NBA begin in Cleveland, performing three decades as a player progress coordinator with the Cavaliers all through LeBron James’ stint there. Pierce mentioned summer season periods in Akron with James taught him about the typical for offseason perform ethic, and he relishes acquiring to engage in James in the NBA.

The Hawks defeat the Lakers in Atlanta in February prior to the All-Star break, a vital loss at the time as the Lakers floundered in the rest of the year. Pierce mentioned he sees a distinct electricity from seeing film of James this year.

“When you look at the film, you can really feel the electricity,” he mentioned. “There’s a renewed electricity right here in L.A. with their roster, and everyone’s bought into their roles, and he’s enthusiastic. So I just think what we observed final yr and what we’re viewing now are two distinct mindsets from the overall roster.”

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