This offseason has featured a ton of turnover on the Lakers. With only returning six players from last season, a new head coach, and missing one very public president of basketball operations, the Lakers look to shake off the filth from last year’s disappointing 37-45 finish. The new coaching staff – while star-studded – will have their work cut out for them.
Along with having to integrate two stars into the offense, the coaching staff needs to find out which rotations work quickly in order to not lose ground in what is expected to be an incredibly competitive Western Conference. The Lakers struggled mightily with this last season an given the shift in power this offseason, they most likely cannot afford to stumble that hard out of the gate again.
Lakers Officially Announce Frank Vogel’s Coaching Staff
Among those named as Vogel’s assistant coaches are Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon, Mike Penberthy, and Quinton Crawford. Greg St. Jean was brought on board as player development coach while Dru Anthrop takes over as head video coordinator. Kidd and Hollins both have extensive head coaching experience while Simon brings an understanding of the organization and some continuity as the only coach to have spent time with the Lakers previously.
The unquestioned biggest name on the staff is Jason Kidd – who many expect is in place to take over should Vogel struggle early on. The Lakers’ front office was adamant in trying to force Kidd onto their coaching staff and this was specifically one of the reasons cited that caused the Lue deal to fall through earlier this summer. While an impeccable basketball mind, Kidd struggled as a head coach and found himself entirely unable to properly utilize one of the deadliest weapons in the sport of basketball – Giannis Antetokounmpo – during his time with the Bucks.
Lionel Hollins should bring a bit of an old-school, defensive-minded presence to the staff as the former architect of the Grizzlies’ early Grit and Grind units. It seems the Lakers and Vogel – who is a defensive-minded coach himself – have gone out of their way to load up the roster with elite defensive minds. With elite defensive weapons like Anthony Davis and LeBron James (when he wants to), the Lakers have the very early makings of a terrifying defensive unit.
Lakers Offseason Signings Putting Heavy Emphasis on Perimeter Defense
Given that the coaching staff leans so heavily defensive, it only makes sense that the Lakers have loaded up on complementary defensive studs to play alongside James and Davis. First adding “3 and D” specialist Danny Green before bringing on Avery Bradley and Jared Dudley, the Lakers look to be stockpiling gritty defensive specialists to bring off the bench.
Specifically, all of these players (Dudley included) are excellent as perimeter defenders. With Anthony Davis offering help defense behind them, don’t be shocked to see the Lakers’ perimeter defenders actually exceed expectations this season. Davis’ presence alone should give perimeter defenders the confidence to play more aggressively and take gambles knowing that Davis can help to clean up any mistakes they might make.