The Los Angeles Lakers need to work on their half-court offense and defensive principles, but the team chemistry is another underrated element that the roster needs time to build as well.
Only three players from last year’s squad returned and that kind of roster overhaul means that there will be an adjustment period as everyone figures out how to work together. Of course, certain players like Rajon Rondo, who returned after a year away from the Lakers, have experience playing with the stars, but it will take time for someone such as Russell Westbrook to get up to speed.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, it looked like they finally got heading in the right direction after picking up their first win of the 2021-22 season against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night and now embark on their first road trip. Head coach Frank Vogel thinks the trip will help the Lakers build the budding chemistry they have shown so far.
“We’ll see,” Vogel said before Sunday’s game. “I think so. There’s a lot to be made about how much value is there really in that, but I think any time our guys are together, even like yesterday’s practice, was really good. For our guys to be together and just talking about what we’re doing and where we’re going, but to get on the road and have a dinner or something like that, I think will benefit us.”
Off-court bonding opportunities were hard to come by last season due to the health and safety protocols, but this time around Los Angeles will be able to actually hang out with each other outside of their hotel rooms. Like Vogel mentioned, it is hard to quantify how much chemistry matters for teams, but it can not be argued that it is a key ingredient in championship runs.
While building chemistry is important, the primary focus for the Purple and Gold will be to build off their recent win and hopefully string together more victories given the strength of their upcoming schedule. After a rough start, it looks like things may finally be looking up for the Lakers.
Frank Vogel emphasizes importance of Lakers’ vaccination status
The Lakers are one of several teams in the NBA whose players and staffs are fully vaccinated and Vogel admitted that the organization’s vaccination status is important as it will prevent any extended absences.
Additionally, it allows them to do stuff on the road like he mentioned, such as team dinner, which is crucial for building chemistry on a new team.
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