The Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with bouts of inconsistent play during their seeding games, which can in part be attributed to head coach Frank Vogel experimenting with lineups and rotations in preparation for the playoffs.
The Lakers had the benefit of going into the NBA restart with a substantial lead in the Western Conference standings, and they secured the No. 1 seed in short order. While Vogel has cycled through various combinations during seeding games, that could carry into the playoffs as well.
“For the most part I stayed with a 10-man rotation for a lot of those series,” he said of his time leading the Indiana Pacers into the postseason. “There’s certain series where you shrink it a little bit more. I think playing against LeBron, we had certain defenders we wanted to make sure we had on him.
“I traditionally will go in continuing to use my depth and then adjust as the series goes along. That will be the same thing with our group here. We’ve got a lot of guys that can play, that I trust, that can contribute. We’ll see what each of those skillsets fits that series and opponent.”
Vogel has the luxury of two superstars at his disposal in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and admitted he will likely stick to staggering the two. “It makes sense,” he said.
“We’ll probably stick with that. I think with what Kuz is doing and the way Alex has been playing, we have some lineups that we can put out there and have confidence in even if LeBron and A.D. are not part of it. But we likely will have one of those two guys in the game.”
As a veteran team, the Lakers are well-equipped for postseason basketball and expanding the rotation theoretically minimizes the loss of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.
LeBron getting comfortable
Like much of the team, James was off to a bit of an uneven start in Orlando. However, he, Davis and Kyle Kuzma delivered a big performance against the Denver Nuggets. That was hardly a coincidence, as James is improving conditioning-wise and with his comfort level in the bubble.
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