Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will certainly have his hands full trying to figure out his rotation for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
With so many quality veterans and a few young players who look ready to contribute, Vogel will need to use the preseason wisely to parse out who is deserving of minutes. He gave a rough timeline on when he is expected to settle on a starting lineup, but nothing is set in stone and it could take longer depending on which players make an impression the next couple of weeks.
Vogel’s already in the process of trying out different lineups during practices and offered a look into the process, rotating playing alongside the team’s big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
“It’s been different every day,” Vogel explained. “Today I think we had [Malik] Monk and Carmelo [Anthony] with Russ, Bron and AD. We’re trying to play those three guys as much as possible early in camp while they haven’t been playing the games. So just trying to get as many minutes together with that. But looking at a different combination every day. There’s a lot to learn about every group that you see whether we’re playing a big alongside AD or playing AD at the five. Just continue to evaluate each day.”
The Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors on Opening Night and while it might be tempting to play certain lineups to best match up against them, Vogel said he instead focused on establishing a set starting lineup.
“This is all about us. This is not about matchups. It probably will be this way all year… I don’t want to get into a situation where we’re changing lineups on a regular basis. When we start the season, we settle into our sort of base look and audible from time to time if needed. I don’t want to be changing every other game.”
Even though the popular lineup choice with Anthony Davis at center is the most appealing, Vogel has shown that he likes to see things play out before making any adjustments. Given the talent and versatility of the roster, he has the option to mix and match but it makes sense for him to nail down how he wants Los Angeles to look on a nightly basis.
Frank Vogel pleased with practice so far
A week into training camp and so far the word around the Lakers has been nothing but positive and Vogel admitted that the practices have turned out better than he expected.
“Yeah, I’d say even better than what I had been hoping for. It’s really been off the charts and in the spirit of pulling in the same direction has been really good. Competing against each other, but in a healthy and positive way. And just really guys talking to each other a lot trying to get on the same page. Spacing concepts, defensive schemes. All those types of things.”
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