Frank Vogel has, to this point, been reluctant to recognize the kind of Los Angeles Lakers team he’s actually tasked with coaching versus the more defensive-minded approach he typically prefers. It would be one thing if he had to horses to get more out of the types of lineups he likes, but that simply isn’t the case, with Avery Bradley and DeAndre Jordan both clearly nearing the end of their NBA careers.
Wednesday night against the Pacers, as the Lakers trudged through the mud it’s felt like they’ve been stuck in for years, Vogel went to extremely small lineups in moments of desperation. The results are going to be pretty hard for him to ignore as more evidence mounts that proves how badly he has to adapt to this group.
So, this week on “I Love Basketball,” Sabreena Merchant and I discussed this Lakers win, the lessons that were too clearly on display for anyone to ignore, and where the Lakers might go from here.
Basically, it’d be one thing if the versions of Jordan and Bradley were remotely close to years past and the Lakers were so good defensively that Vogel could convince himself it can work long-term. But they aren’t. And what’s worse: Those lineups don’t offer enough spacing to pick up the defense if it starts slow.
Wayne Ellington, Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk aren’t always going to defend or rebound the way they did, but even when they don’t, the offense is explosive enough to at the very least force opposing teams to take the ball out of the rim.
Sabreena and I discussed that in further depth, how Russ and LeBron can elevate that offense even further in minutes where James is at center, and plenty more on our last podcast before the Thanksgiving break.
You can listen to the entire episode below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.