While head coach Frank Vogel continues to incorporate five new rotation pieces for the Los Angeles Lakers, it has come at the slight cost of some early struggles by Anthony Davis.
The superstar is still averaging 21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists, but he is clearly not playing at the same level as the 2020 postseason.
During the playoffs, Davis established himself as one of the league’s premier players, causing many to project a huge 2020-21 season. However, a shortened offseason and some early nagging injuries have caused him to be less than 100%.
Vogel also believes that Davis has sacrificed some of his own production to help the new additions feel more comfortable. However, he is hoping to see Davis become more aggressive moving forward.
“We want to make sure we’re playing through him as much as possible,” Vogel said. “We’ve got a lot of new guys on this team, so there’s been times early in this season where myself and even A.D. has been trying to get other guys comfortable.
“We knew the beginning of this trip was a time to really start having him be more assertive. He didn’t have a great night against Milwaukee but the mindset was there. Tonight he was dominant with how he was playing. Like I said, it’s not something we’re worried about. You just balance trying to get everybody going throughout the course of a long season. He was great tonight.”
Vogel’s remarks came after Davis’ 37-point, 14-for-21 performance against the Chicago Bulls. He struggled to shoot against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but admittedly took a step back to allow LeBron James to take the spotlight in his return home.
Vogel did not set any early expectations for Lakers
While the Lakers are off to a strong start this season, Vogel — thinking about a number of different factors — wasn’t sure if he could compare it to any expectations.
“I honestly had no idea what to expect off of the short offseason, coming in after having won the championship,” he said. “I really thought there could be a wide range of ways it could play out. I’m happy with where we’re at.
“Obviously there’s been some games we’ve dropped that we shouldn’t have dropped, there’s some areas we need to continue to get better at, but we’ve shown early on we can be great at.
“Just some discipline things and habits we build with more repetition and time together. But I didn’t really have expectations of what the first month would look like. I was sort of ready for anything.”
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