Ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will have several tough decisions to make regarding his lineup and rotation choices.
Size and versatility is what helped the Lakers win the 2020 title, but this iteration of the roster has several different combinations that seem like they would work on paper. As things stand, only LeBron James and Anthony Davis are locked into starting roles.
Danny Green was slotted as the team’s starting two-guard last season, but he was traded for Dennis Schroder prior to the start of free agency. Schroder, who finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year race last season, said he expects to start.
Beyond a desire for a larger role, Schroder believes he is best suited to play alongside James to take pressure off him.
While that may ring true, Vogel admitted no decision has been made on that front yet. “Way too soon for that, but definitely going to give strong consideration to Dennis in the starting lineup,” Vogel said. “As we will with some other guys.”
Schroder played behind Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2019-20 season, so him coming off the bench made sense at the time. However, the point guard has a solid case to start given his ability to handle the ball and orchestrate the offense so James can take breaks throughout games.
Despite the benefits of having Schroder start, it might make more sense to have Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews in the lineup in order to preserve the starting unit’s size and defense.
Vogel details how Schroder fits next to LeBron
If Vogel does opt to start Schroder and James together, the offense should be even more potent. “The great thing about Dennis is he’s effective off the basketball, attacking in second-side action, and he’s effective with the basketball and initiating offense,” explained Vogel.
“That’s why we feel he’s a great fit to play alongside LeBron, because he can play both roles. There’s benefits to both and we’ll evaluate as we get into camp and see what lineups are going to be best for us to win games.”
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