The Fake Frank Vogel lineup saga continued on Saturday, when the Los Angeles Lakers visited the Washington Wizards for their second and final matchup of the season. However, this time, Vogel’s questionable decision-making wasn’t the downfall of the Lakers, as they beat the Wizards 121-110 and ended their losing streak at two games.
In case you missed it, Vogel started Rajon Rondo, Dion Waiters, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard — a five-man unit that has never played together — against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, and while the game was close, the Lakers ultimately lost because of Vogel’s lineup change.
Vogel rolled out the same lineup on Saturday, and the results were positive. Of course, LeBron James and Anthony Davis took care of business as usual with a combined 58 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks, but the Lakers’ supporting cast did their part too.
Waiters had his best game in a Lakers uniform, tallying 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes. The Lakers also got some offense from Rajon Rondo, who scored 11 points and dished out 5 assists. When four of the Lakers’ starters finish in double figures, it’s a good night for them — especially when two of the starters were Rondo and Waiters.
The biggest difference-maker outside of Davis and James, though, was Kyle Kuzma. After a rough couple of weeks for the third-year forward, he traded 3-point shots with Davis Bertans all night, and ended the game with 17 points on 4-8 shooting from behind the arc off the bench. Comparatively, Bertans finished with 14 points on 4-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Also seeing minutes off of the bench were Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who played a combined two minutes. They’ve been DNP-CDs for the past two games, so this is progress! Avery Bradley is still in the virtual dog house, for some reason, though.
Does Saturday’s result mean the Lakers should stick with this lineup going forward? No — the Wizards are a bad team, which is ultimately why the Lakers won. But it does add another win to their impressive 56-16 record, and keeps Vogel off of the hot seat.
The Lakers will be back at it on Monday, and for the first time since we started this series, we’ll be streaming the gameplay on Twitch. Stay tuned for details on when and where to watch.