One of the biggest question marks for the Los Angeles Lakers so far this season has been their starting lineup as many were under the impression before the season that Anthony Davis would start at center.
To this point though, DeAndre Jordan has started a majority of the games at center with Davis at power forward, and the results have been mixed.
Frank Vogel has shown that he is not attached to any certain starting lineup though, not hesitating to move Davis over to center when a matchup dictates it.
That was the case on Friday night when they played the Minnesota Timberwolves, who start a smaller lineup with a floor-spacer in Karl-Anthony Towns at center.
Vogel slid Davis over to center and started Wayne Ellington in place of Jordan, although the results were again mixed as the Lakers got off to a strong start but then everything came crashing down when the starting lineup was basically run out of their own gym to start the third quarter, resulting in a blowout loss.
After the game, Vogel discussed the new starting lineup, although it doesn’t seem like a change that will be permanent as he continues to get a look at different groups together.
“All of our players, we’re evaluating everybody right now. We got a lot of new guys and we’re finding out what guys can and cannot do. Some of that involves lineups. When Bron went down, we said let’s look for opportunities to slide AD to the five, and certain matchups when you got Jimmy Butler at the wing, you can’t play four smalls. When you got Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges at the wing, you can’t play four smalls.
“So you take a game where you think there’s an opportunity to do that and you take advantage of that and we’re exploring what those lineups look like, continuing to explore our big lineups and just evaluating everything right now.”
After those comments, it’s no surprise that Vogel is not ready to reveal his starting lineup for Sunday’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.
“I can’t make that decision right now. We’re gonna put the lineup out there to beat San Antonio.”
Jordan started the last game the Lakers played the Spurs, which resulted in an overtime win, so it would not be surprising to see Vogel go back to that on Sunday.
Vogel doesn’t blame starting lineup for third-quarter woes
The Lakers playing poorly in the third quarter has become a bit of a theme this season, but Vogel doesn’t feel his starting lineup is the only reason for that.
“It’s not always consistent. It’s different things. We had a different lineup out there tonight than in some of the lineups we played in some of the other third quarters. I think it’s the turnovers, poor defense and not executing well enough offensively. Our screening was terrible tonight. Our screening was terrible and that leads into bad positions. It’s part of building those relationships and playing at a higher level.”
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