Frank Vogel Believes Constant Losses Of LeBron James & Anthony Davis Has Led To ‘Snakebitten’ Season For Lakers
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

History keeps repeating itself for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021-22, as LeBron James suffered an ankle injury right when Anthony Davis’ comeback appeared on the horizon.

James and Davis have been interchangeably ruled out of games since the campaign’s tip-off. Not long after the four-time NBA champion missed two weeks of action with an abdomen problem in November, the 29-year-old forward sprained an MCL, which sidelined him for over a month.

A couple of days after Davis returned, knee soreness made James unavailable for five games — followed by the former spraining his foot right before the All-Star break.

“It’s been that type of year,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “Definitely snakebitten with trying to get those guys on the floor together. I think it’s 17 or 18 games or something like that for the season and looks like it could potentially be more than that now.

“So it’s one of those things that’s out of our control, it’s unfortunate, but we have to lock in and again, like we’ve done all season, shift our identity on the floor with regards to who’s in and who’s out.”

James and Davis have played in just 21 games together this season — and it’s uncertain how many many more they will add to the tally. Davis still needs to work on his conditioning before he can return to the court.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have so far listed James as “doubtful” for the Tuesday clash with the Dallas Mavericks after he rolled his ankle in the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. However, L.A. is yet to provide more information about the extent of his injury.

In their absence, Vogel called on the Purple and Gold to put even more effort in on the defensive end to give themselves a chance to compete without their stars.

“The avenue for this team to turn the corner and to finish strong is gonna come on the defensive end and it wasn’t there for the full 48 last night either,” the head coach said.

“Until that switches, until we get the full commitment that’s necessary, we’re not gonna turn this around. But we’re gonna continue to coach them hard and challenge them and game plan and scheme up and do whatever we got to do to get that defense wherever it needs to be to start putting some wins together.”

Vogel: Lakers are running out of time to turn things around

The Lakers fell to 10th after the loss to the Pelicans — and have a minuscule 0.5 game advantage over the San Antonio Spurs in the standings with eight games left in the regular season.

Vogel acknowledged L.A. doesn’t have a lot of room for error moving forward.

“Time is running out. We got to get some wins, we got to put some wins together and turn the page to Dallas. Whatever it takes to beat Dallas, that’s what we got to do,” he said.

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