It didn’t yield outstanding results — coming in at minus-nine in the minutes they played together — but coach Frank Vogel thinks it’s something the team will continue to try out.
“I think there are some benefits to playing a lineup like that,” Vogel told reporters. “Obviously there’s some risk as well because both of them are used to defending the center position, but you want to get your best players out there and that’s something we haven’t quite looked at yet when we’re trying to manage the addition of Andre with those guys that are used to playing big minutes as well.”
I did like the way it looked like tonight. I think we’re getting better, again, playing with two bigs, whether it’s Anthony and Drum or Marc and Trezz together,” Vogel added. “I think it was a positive even though the overall net was a negative. I think it was a positive for the energy of our group.”
Gasol Says Team Has to Have ‘Growth Mindset’
The Lakers have been working on ways to get all three of their big men minutes in Gasol, Harrell and Andre Drummond, who assumed the starting role after being signed off the buyout market.
While it will take some getting used to, Gasol could see a lineup where he plays next to Harrell working out.
“I think offensively it can work just fine just because of the nature of each other and how we play,” Gasol said after practice on Monday. “On the other side we have to do a better job of communicating and being on a string. Everyone needs to be aware that it’s an adjustment process when that lineup is on the floor.
“You have to be extra alert because we both are going to gravitate with our instincts a little more towards the ball, so we have to work in tandem and the other three guys need to be aware of that,” Gasol added. “They need to be a little more alert on rotations and communication, but it’s nothing that is not possible to work. You need to work at it, you need to have a growth mindset when you go through those things.”
While Drummond and Harrell are physical, rebounding bigs, Gasol’s versatility and ability to shoot from deep give the Lakers a different wrinkle. He’s also been on fire from beyond the arc since Drummond showed up, shooting a scorching 61% from 3-point land.
Drummond Credited Gasol For Help Upon Arrival
While Drummond and Gasol are competing for minutes, there’s no ill-will within the Lakers locker room. In fact, Drummond credited Gasol for offering a helping hand when he arrived in Los Angeles.
“Marc has probably been the biggest help for me since I got here,” Drummond told reporters on Wednesday. “I admire his game. … He’s been very beneficial for me.”
Gasol made it clear that the conversation should be less about roles and more about what everyone can do to help the team succeed.
“I think we have to start thinking more as a team instead of mentioning guys’ (roles),” Gasol recently told reporters. “It’s more who we are as a team and who we’re going to be. Everyone tied to one another, because whether you play zero minutes or 20 minutes, the team’s success is everyone’s success.”
The Lakers are back in action on Tuesday against the New York Knicks, a game in which LeBron James could make his return.