Carmelo Anthony Maintains Confidence In Lakers’ Championship Hopes Despite Tough First Part Of 2021-22
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have hardly been mentioned among title favorites this year after an underwhelming first part of the 2021-22 season.

Since the campaign’s tip-off, L.A. has been stuck in the area around the .500 mark. The Lakers slid back into a losing record again after Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, prompting LeBron James to concede the Purple and Gold currently belong among the NBA’s mid-table teams. They have since beaten the Orlando MAgic to get back to that .500 mark.

The front office has reportedly been actively looking for ways to strengthen the roster ahead of the second part of the season, hoping to make the Lakers competitive again. Also, Carmelo Anthony said the players believe they can still turn things around and close the gap to this year’s title favorites.

“Well we’re not wavering from that,” Anthony said. “I don’t think there’s a lack of confidence in this team, and if there is, it’s not showing… There’s definitely not a lack of confidence and I want to say that the room is still the same, it’s just this is part of the journey.

“I don’t think nobody expected that we would be going through this and dealing with this, but there’s a lot of other things that we weren’t expecting as well. So some things are out of our control, some things are in our control and we just got to worry about the things we can control.”

The most recent slump led to further speculations over head coach Frank Vogel’s future in L.A. But even though his job seemed to have been in danger after the loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers’ front office reportedly doesn’t plan on firing Vogel at this time.

Anthony defends Vogel amid job security rumors

Anthony has come to Vogel’s defense amid recent rumors over the head coach’s job security. The 37-year-old forward said the players need to improve at executing the game plan if they want to start playing up to their potential.

“It’s up to us to go out and execute and play basketball and win some games,” Anthony said. “When we’re doing it in that fashion, it looks good, it feels good, everybody’s happy. But when we don’t and we lose games, it looks bad, guys are frustrated at whatever.”

And he added: “I think the easiest thing to do is to blame Frank, blame the coaching, but we’re out there playing, we’re the ones that got to go out there and do it, we can’t just keep putting it on Frank,” Anthony stated. “Well we’re not putting it on him, I don’t want to say keep, I know how powerful that sounds so disregard ‘keep.’ So I know how hard it is to do what we got to do to put us in situations to win games and us going out there and being able to execute whatever the game plan is.”

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