The Los Angeles Lakers may not be re-opening their practice facility until next week (at the earliest), but that doesn’t mean head coach Frank Vogel has stopped looking for ways to make his team better.
During a conference call with local beat reporters, Vogel revealed that in addition to looking at the Lakers’ potential competition, he’s turned his video team towards their own roster, trying to find ways to make a team that already has the best record in the Western Conference even better (via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):
Vogel had his assistant coaches prepping for possible playoff opponents last month, and this month, it’s on to various projects to study certain parts of the team’s system.
“Our video guys, Dru Anthrop and Jon Pastorek, have done an incredible job of putting together very detailed edits of high volume for us to be able to study the things were working for us, things we need to improve, and more importantly to remind us as we watch these tapes, how good a team we had,” Vogel explained. “These (Zoom) meetings have bene very exciting and encouraging. It’s something that makes me want even more to have the opportunity to finish our season when it’s safe and appropriate.”
Vogel is absolutely correct that the Lakers were incredible this season, but he’s also right to take this approach. The Lakers were a great team, but also one with obvious flaws that could be exploited, like their lack of secondary ballhandling behind LeBron James (and the sometimes stagnant offense that occasionally resulted from that).
Even though the Lakers can’t have organized practices yet, just getting some time to look at how their own system is working and make adjustments isn’t something teams get a ton of time to do during a normal season, and could be one small silver lining to find in this stoppage. It won’t be easy to make wide-ranging, tactical adjustments without getting everyone on the floor together, but this could give Vogel and his staff an extended opportunity to look at what rotations and lineups are and aren’t working, and other such adjustments that they could make relatively seamlessly.
It obviously remains to be seen what — if anything — will come from this exercise in introspection, but it’s evidence that the Lakers aren’t satisfied with where they’re at, and remain incredibly motivated to do whatever they can to become the best team they can be during what has already been a special season. Now we just need basketball to come back safely so we can see the results.