Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will soon get a chance to prove he was the correct choice to lead them back to playoff contention as the 2019-2020 NBA season nears.
The Lakers have officially begun 2019 NBA training camp which means Vogel has finally gotten a chance to install the schemes he plans to run during Year 1.
The former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach has built his reputation in the league on the back of his defensive principles and now gets to work with a roster that has the look of a solid defensive unit.
When Vogel was asked about his early impressions of his new roster, he expressed his pleasure with how they have looked so far.
“I’m pleased with how hard those guys are working,” Vogel said. “Their attentiveness to pick up a lot that we’re trying to implement and instill. Six practices in four days, you can see a lot of slippage with certain teams in those situations, but there wasn’t that today. The guys were really locked in and on their game and we had a great practice.”
The new head coach was also asked how his players would get minutes and his answer was straightforward.
“Who’s gonna help us win the game is the first criteria. Beyond that, I think you look at how certain guys play with each other, the on-court chemistry that gets established through camp. Some guys have a better just a better feel for each other than others, so that could be a criteria as well.”
Vogel and the Lakers will surely have a longer adjustment period than most teams given all the roster turnover during the offseason. Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, and Quinn Cook will all certainly have roles to play on a nightly basis and Vogel will need time to tinker with lineups to see which ones are the most productive.
For now, it seems the only locks to play heavy minutes in the starting lineup are LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The two All-Star players are widely considered to be one of the best duos in the league and the team’s success will almost assuredly come down to their health and level of play throughout the regular season.
With the first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors happening on Oct. 5, it will be interesting to note the lineup combinations that Vogel trots out.