The Los Angeles Lakers spent months as being one of the most dominant teams in the NBA and are hoping to get the momentum back after taking a significant amount of time off. With no games being playing since March, it’s expected that there could be a lot of sloppy play once games start getting played again. There are a lot of coaches who would probably be okay with winning a bunch of “ugly” games as a win is a win.
However, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is not one of those coaches. He made it very clear to the media on Friday about how he feels about “ugly” wins.
“A lot of defensive coaches are happy to win ugly. I don’t. I like to dominate,” Vogel said.
The Lakers have been on a mission all season. They just spent several seasons as one of the worst teams in the NBA and they want to end this season in a championship. Vogel clearly doesn’t think it’s good enough to just win. He wants his team to put up dominant performance after dominant performance.
Vogel Planning on Playing Everyone?
Thanks to the significant amount of time off, it’s hard to know how the players’ bodies will react. Due to that fact, the NBA has allowed teams to bring more players. The Lakers will be traveling to Orlando with 17 players and Vogel is planning on using all of them.
“I would think that we’re gonna use everyone. Obviously we’re taking it on a game-by-game basis,” Vogel said. “The goal of these seeding games is to get us going into the playoffs, and just like it would be in the normal last eight games of a regular season, to get us going to the playoffs as healthy and as sharp as we can be.”
A couple of notable players who could see some playing time are Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo. Both guys have been playing for the Lakers’ G League team, the South Bay Lakers. They now find themselves with the best opportunity of their careers to prove their worth.
“Part of guys like Kostas and Devontae being a part of this camp and practices, and getting opportunities in those games is, just from a coaching standpoint, to sharpen all your assets. You never know who you’re going to need,” Vogel said. “If you take those guys over there without an opportunity, you may end up needing to call their number at some point and they may not be as ready as you want them to be.”
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Vogel Eager to See How Waiters & Smith Fit
Shortly before the NBA season was suspended, the Lakers signed veteran guard Dion Waiters. He has yet to get a chance to play in a game with the team. That’s not to mention JR Smith, who the team just recently signed. Both guys are veterans, but it’s going to be important to see if they even fit with the team. Vogel had a chance to comment on Waiters and Smith coming in.
“Obviously I know their games very well from having competed against them over the years, but for those two guys, just having an opportunity to see what they look like in our system is something I’m interested in,” Vogel said, adding that he’s hopeful to get a few more opportunities for another of his deep bench guards as well.
“As crazy of a year as it was, Quinn Cook had a handful of opportunities, but he started the preseason injured. I probably would like to see more opportunities for him to see what he can do. I mean, I know what he can do, but the more of a body of work that we have, the better.”