The Los Angeles Lakers sit just two wins away from their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2010, and plenty of credit must be given to head coach Frank Vogel.
Although he’s taken some criticism throughout the 2019-20 season, Vogel has made plenty of wise decisions that have allowed the Lakers to get to this point. The focus now is squarely on Vogel’s strategy and approach against the Houston Rockets, who’s unique roster forces teams to make significant adjustments.
Vogel has responded by effectively removing JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard from the regular rotation, while trusting the likes of Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Markieff Morris in vital moments. After an ugly Game 1 loss, L.A. has rattled off two impressive victories.
Vogel, as always, remained humble about that fact, crediting players for putting the team first. “Role acceptance is a huge part of any successful team,” Vogel said. “Our guys have really excelled at that throughout the year. We have high aspirations about what our group can accomplish. It’s not about the individual in anything that we do.”
“In particular in the playoffs, you get to certain series where one player’s skillset may make them more meaningful than it will in a different series. We have the flexibility and versatility to do those types of things, adjust from one half to another, from one game to another. Our guys have been wonderful about playing their part and doing whatever is asked of them.”
The Lakers’ chemistry is part of what has made it so easy for everyone to accept their role, but that starts at the top, where Vogel has thrived by way of his communication. “It’s very important. I always try to over-communicate with all of our players to make sure they know exactly what their role is for a given game or series, and why,” he explained.
“Just to make sure they still feel appreciated, that they still stay ready. I do believe those guys have a place in this series, and they’ve just got to understand that and continue to stay ready. They’re playing right now, 4-on-4 or 5-on-5, to make sure they’re staying ready. With anything, I think it’s very important to just make sure you’re communicating with guys and being honest.”
It’s apparent that the Lakers team success so far in the postseason has come from everyone — from LeBron James to Vogel to role players — buying into the system in place.
Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley praise Vogel for his leadership
Even prior to the season being put on a hiatus, the Lakers were very happy with Vogel’s performance as head coach.
Avery Bradley vouched for his motivation skills as well his consistency while Dudley echoed praise for his communication, with both agreeing he was the perfect veteran coach for the roster.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!