Even though the Los Angeles Lakers saw their roster overturned yet again, there is a healthy amount of optimism that they can raise banner No. 18 with the group they have assembled.
The offense should be much improved after adding a dynamic star in Russell Westbrook and surrounding him with knockdown shooters who can space the floor. However, the obvious concern is the defensive side of the ball because the Lakers saw impact defenders in Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leave in the offense.
While it is a valid question mark, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka expressed confidence in head coach Frank Vogel to keep the team sharp. “The good news is we have seen this Coach Vogel effect defensively where with last year’s group with the group before where his system and his discipline and his teaching and his focus on that side of the ball translated into success,” Pelinka said.
“And of course, part of that was personnel. Of course! Part of that is also system and teaching and accountability, and so we have a belief in this group with some of the guys that were added with players like Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza. I could go down the list, but there’s going to be a massive to defense and rebounding and those cornerstone elements that you need to win at a high level. I don’t have any concerns about us being a very, very strong team defensively. I believe in the group’s commitment and the effort in coach’s teaching on that end. I think we’ll be successful as a defensive ball club.”
Vogel discussed what it means to lose some of his best perimeter defenders, but instead of worrying about it he emphasized that next season will require a more collective approach. He also noted that he is confident in the backline defense, in this case the big man rotation of Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.
If Vogel is able to keep the Lakers’ defense somewhere close to last season’s squad, he certainly will be in the running for Coach of the Year. It remains to be seen whether or not L.A. can achieve that, but there is no arguing they are better overall.
Vogel reportedly only extended for one more year
Vogel was able to win a championship in his first season with the Lakers and that alone should have earned himself a lucrative extension. However, it seems as though the organization decided to only add one more year to his current deal.
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