Wesley Matthews is going through an adjustment period with the Los Angeles Lakers. After starting every game for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, Matthews has started just one game in 10 appearances for the Lakers. Prior to this season, Matthews had come off of the bench just twice in eight years.
Adjusting to a new role isn’t easy, and adjusting to a new role on an entirely new team definitely isn’t easy, but Matthews seems to be settling in more and more with each game, and he partially credits Lakers head coach Frank Vogel with helping him to get to where he is.
“As a player, you’re just ready for whatever,” Matthews said recently. “You put a lot of preparation in during the offseason just to be ready for whatever the situation, whatever the outcome is, but as far as coach Frank, he’s probably the best communicator as a coach that I’ve had in this early season.
“He communicates very well about whatever is going on in his mind, whatever he’s thinking, so that gives you comfort. When you know when you’re coming in, when you’re coming out, you can start mentally preparing yourself, you can get ready, you can start watching the game a little bit differently. He’s a great communicator so far with me, and that’s really helped my curve here.”
He’s not the only one. Dennis Schröder also recently praised Vogel and the rest of the Lakers’ coaching staff for helping him feel as comfortable as possibly could be in his new surroundings early on.
“When I came in the first day, Frank Vogel, the coach, the assistant coaches, they told me ‘go out there and play, we got you for a reason,’” Schröder said. “They trust me,
Vogel came to the Lakers with a reputation of being an “Xs and Os” guy, especially when it came to the defensive end of the floor, but over the last year, he’s shown why Paul George called him “one of the most influential men in my life.” He clearly knows how to talk to people, and while that might not be the most valuable skill for a coach to have, it’s definitely a quality you want for the head coach of a star-studded, veteran-heavy team to have.
We’ll never know where Vogel ranked among the Lakers’ initial list of candidates, but there’s one thing we do know at this point: The Lakers made the right hire.