The Los Angeles Lakers are by far and away one of the hardest teams to figure out during the 2021-22 season as they can look great one night and terrible the next.
Watching the Lakers is like a rollercoaster as they have stretches where they look like the title contenders most thought they would be during the offseason, while there are several rough periods where they resemble a non-playoff team. Nothing illustrates this more than their past two games as they blew out the Boston Celtics only to turn around and lose to a shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies squad.
Injuries have ravaged the roster, which has forced head coach Frank Vogel to tinker with his lineups on a nightly basis. Before the game against the Grizzlies, Vogel admitted that there is no timeline for him to settle on a regular starting lineup.
“Really as long as it takes,” Vogel said. “Honestly, I would’ve hope that I would have landed on something by now, but we’re currently on a one-game win streak and that’s not enough for me to say we finally found our traction, you know what I mean?
“We’re gonna continue to look at whatever lineups are gonna work and whatever style, AD at the four or AD at the five, which shooting guard we’re gonna throw in there to complement those guys and that’s something we’ll continue to evaluate until we’ve found something that we feel good about. Obviously, Trevor [Ariza] coming back when he gets healthy will be a big part of that and hopefully we can lock in to something.”
Trevor Ariza seems to be an inflection point for the Lakers as Vogel previously revealed that the team’s vision was to have the veteran as their primary wing defender with Anthony Davis at center. Without Ariza, Vogel has instead mixed-and-matched his lineups depending on the matchup which can obviously lead to some inconsistency though it is still disappointing that they can not string together wins.
At this point in the season, it can be argued that Vogel should lean in all the way to a more offensive-centric approach but it remains to be seen whether or not he can stomach such a drastic shift.
Jeanie Buss withholding any judgment on Frank Vogel until Lakers are healthy
It seems Vogel may be on the coaching hot seat given the Lakers have largely underwhelmed, but injuries may be why he is able to hold onto his job a little longer. Ownership does not seem in a rush to oust Vogel and Jeanie Buss herself said she is going to wait until the team is fully healthy before making any calls.
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