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Why benching Austin Reaves underscored Frank Vogel’s key flaws

2 DNP-CDs for Austin Reaves in the Lakers’ two must-win games was a mistake by Frank Vogel.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are officially out of play-in contention, and deservedly so after an uninspiring stretch of the season following the All-Star break that’s seen the team boast the seconnd-worst record in the league and lose all seven of their “playoff” games over the past two weeks. And in the four games the team has won, it’s taken a herculean performance from LeBron James, as he’s averaged 46 points per game in those wins.

When that level of greatness is necessary from a 37-year-old star just for a team to scrape by, there’s obviously plenty of blame to go around. Because in a season as terrible as this one, there’s never just one person to blame, and we will hear plenty about that in the coming days, weeks, and months — you can start with this piece from Daman Rangoola.

However, right now, I want to focus on one action that encapsulates a major reason for the team’s undoing this season, and is representative of many of head coach Frank Vogel’s key flaws: Relegating Austin Reaves to a DNP-CD in the two “must-win” games of the season vs the New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers.

In my latest video, I broke down why this was an issue, and what larger-picture issues with Vogel that it represents:

At the least, we now have a merciful end to the season and all reports indicate a major coaching change this summer. Hopefully it’s for a coach that doesn’t undermine his own stated principles with his actual actions and allotment of playing time.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.