Frank Vogel: Lakers Focus On ‘Mental Aspect’ Amid Limited Practice Time
Kostas Antetokounmpo, Devontae Cacok, Wesley Matthews, Frank Vogel
Kyusung Gong-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Lakers continue adapting to the rules and restrictions imposed by the NBA for the 2020-21 season amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Even though teams compete in their home arenas during the current campaign, their usual routines are still heavily impacted by the strict testing and protocols. Players, coaches, and staff members need to take the test every morning and then await their results.

However, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said the turnaround time on the road creates some confusion and therefore the team decided against carrying out morning shootarounds. L.A. previously did not hold mandatory sessions on game days in the Orlando bubble due to limited practice time available.

Besides, LeBron James and Anthony Davis reportedly were not fond of doing a formal shootaround prior to a game last season.

Now, Vogel said, the Lakers keep spending a significant amount of time studying game film. “It’s definitely a concern of mine as a coach,” he said of limited practice and shootaround opportunities.

“But we continue to highlight the mental aspect of our process, which was so strong for us last year. Our film sessions are really collaborative. I’m not the only voice in there. I’ll show the clips and give my viewpoint on things, but I’ll frequently ask guys what they’re seeing and have them talk out two-man relationships, coverages and whatnot.”

Vogel pointed out that the film session-centered approach is a method the Lakers embraced in the Orlando bubble and which proved to be extremely effective. “I think that process worked well for us last year,” he added. “And we’re going to have to lean on that in these circumstances this year.”

Vogel praises newcomers for fitting in with film room

Vogel previously said he was satisfied with the diligence of new Lakers in the film room, which allowed the team to implement some necessary changes, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.

“We’ve had some success with carryover — what we’ve talked about in film carrying out onto the court. Hopefully, that continues,” he said. “To their credit, our whole group so far has been really good with this.”

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