The Los Angeles Lakers’ recent victory over the Indiana Pacers was one of the team’s most exciting wins of the season and a major reason was how Frank Vogel employed LeBron James.
With Anthony Davis out due to illness, Vogel chose to play a super small-ball lineup with LeBron featured at the center position.
The move worked as the floor was freed up for James to attack the basket and lead the charge while being surrounded by shooters. Additionally, the guards all chipped in on the backboards so that the Lakers weren’t being dominated on the glass which has been a major issue all season.
The question now is whether that lineup with LeBron at center is something Vogel will turn to moving forward and he admitted that it’s something the coaches talk about, but there are a lot of factors to consider.
“It’s something we talk about, something we consider,” Vogel said ahead of the Lakers’ contest against the Sacramento Kings. “But you have to measure what that does for his workload. Whether that’s something that we just want to use in small doses when needed or if it’s gonna become part of us on a regular basis.
“I think everything is on the table with this year’s team with the newness of our group, and obviously the first look at it in a bigger [sample], for more than a minute or two, was really good. So just something we’ll continue to evaluate.”
There is no doubt that there are a number of positives to be had with James at the center position, but also some drawbacks. LeBron matching up with true big men for extended periods of time is likely something they want to avoid in his 19th season.
Vogel will have to carefully measure when the right times will be to unleash that type of lineup, but with the team’s struggles so far this season all options are on the table as the head coach noted. The Lakers roster allows Vogel plenty of different types of lineups to try out and whichever one best utilizes James should definitely be a major one.
James fined for celebration in Lakers win over Pacers
LeBron’s performance in that win of the Pacers brought all kinds of emotion out of the Lakers superstar and he showed it with some particular celebrations. The ‘big balls’ dance made popular by former player Sam Cassell is a popular one and it actually cost James $15,000.
The NBA fined LeBron for making an ‘obscene gesture’ with that celebration, but that fine is nothing when he is putting on a show like that.
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