It is hard to believe, but it has been less than a year since the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA Championship.
The Lakers did not get much of an opportunity to defend their title after bowing out in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs but now enter the 2021-22 campaign as one of the favorites to win it all once again. However, even though Los Angeles is deservedly getting the respect of oddsmakers and analysts, there is still doubt that they can actually accomplish the feat because of the roster’s age, which has led to pushback from members of the organization.
Normally it is hard for teams who have won previously to muster up the same amount of energy and effort to repeat but in an appearance on Spectrum SportsNet’s “Lakeshow” podcast with Chris McGee and Allie Clifton, head coach Frank Vogel said he believes the team is up to the challenge of proving themselves:
“Not really. When you’re a competitor, every year you want to reach the ultimate goal. You want to get to the top, you want to win a championship. And having won one hasn’t really changed that with me. We’re coming into this season, we have a team capable of winning that trophy and we’re highly motivated. It’s sort of the Mamba Mentality, be at your best at what you’re doing. We had that motivation last year, we fell short obviously with certain circumstances but highly motivated to get back on top.”
From the top-down, the Lakers seem solely focused on trying to win banner No. 18 with all the talk about having to sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Any time a championship feels like it is within reach, players are going to give it their all and this upcoming season represents the best chance for several of them to come away with a ring.
Newcomers like Russell Westbrook, who Vogel believes is the ultimate competitor, will surely be able to get the best out of the team because of his energy and effort but LeBron James and Anthony Davis will also be tasked with making sure everyone is rowing in the same direction. A highly motivated Lakers squad is a dangerous one, and it will be exciting to see them try and get back to the mountaintop.
Frank Vogel addresses losing best perimeter players
Even though L.A. will be motivated to win, Vogel has the unenviable task of trying to scheme his defense after losing his best perimeter defenders in the offseason. Despite the expected drop in defensive ability, Vogel is confident the current roster will be able to work together to make up for it.
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