The Los Angeles Lakers fell in triple-overtime to a shorthanded Sacramento Kings squad on Friday night, dropping the squad to 10-11 this season and leading to much talk about coach Frank Vogel’s future with the team.
Lakers legend James Worthy was among those to call out Vogel’s tactics after the game.
“He’s got to take control of this, call plays and make sure they are getting good shots. He has to make sure they are versatile and not so one-dimensional and predictable. Because that’s all I’m seeing right now,” Worthy said on the Spectrum SportsNet postgame. “I don’t think they can get themselves out of this as players because they’ve had enough opportunities. They have leadership but got some kind of virus going on. If they don’t get ahold of it, every team that comes into Staples Center is going to have a lot of confidence that in four quarters, they can beat this team.”
Twitter was also ablaze following the loss, with many calling for Vogel’s job. However, the Lakers skipper did get defense from former NBAer and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who felt the loss was more on the players.
“People blaming Vogel for the lack of defensive effort is funny to me!” Perkins tweeted. “You have a VETERAN ball club that are having multiple breakdowns on the defensive and offensively can’t get into sets to run some good offense. Can’t BLAME the Coach for that. That’s on your VETS! Period.”
To be fair, even Vogel admitted it was a game the Lakers should have won, especially considering they had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
“They hit a lot of tough shots, a lot of tough twos, midrange shots contested,” Vogel told reporters. “You tip your cap to them in those situations, but you’re up 13 in the fourth quarter, you gotta get that W.”
‘Buzz’ of Lakers Firing Frank Vogel Growing
With the Lakers still sitting under .500, the whispers are starting to grow louder that Vogel could actually be at risk of losing his job. Veteran NBA insider Marc Stein reported this week that the “buzz” is growing that Vogel could be on his way out in LA. Stein wrote:
There is also rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on Frank Vogel given the Lakers’ worrisome 10-10 start … given L.A.’s lack of flexibility to make roster changes.
Vogel has the second-highest odds to be the next coach fired, per BetOnline. Vogel comes in behind only Dwayne Casey at +300.
LeBron James is Frustrated But Lakers Taking it Slow
LeBron James played 50 minutes in the loss and was just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. He had chances to win the game for the Lakers but didn’t come through. James was frustrated about the loss to an inferior sub-.500 opponent, but maintained the Lakers are taking it slow as they continue to build chemistry with a retooled roster.
“You’ve got to stay even keel throughout the whole process and understand that we can get better from our losses, we can get better from our wins,” James told reporters. “We, obviously, would not like to be one game under .500 a fourth into the season. But we know we’ve got more room to improve — got a lot more room to improve.”
The Lakers will have a chance to bounce back against another struggling team in the Pistons on Sunday.