Drafts from the Lakers home: Vogel risks the bench. The new coach would be …

After the defeat with Sacramento, the yellow-violet management is considering a technical change, the only way to give a shock to a team that is making much less than expected. And there is already a candidate for his replacement

They were whispers, they are becoming something more: Frank Vogel’s bench would be in danger. Just 13 months after hitting the title in the bubble, the Lakers coach would be at risk of exemption, with his job becoming precarious after the defeat to the triple overtime with Sacramento, the last stage of a season in the chiaroscuro in which a group built to win the title finds itself, a month and a half into the season, with a record of 10 won and 11 lost and the label of disappointment stuck on it.

the situation

The Lakers are still optimistic in words. “We are on a winning streak from changing what people say about us,” said Anthony Davis confidently after his daring knockout with Sacramento. The reality is that the Lakers fail to engage. They returned from a series of 5 away games that in the hope of Vogel had to change the season: they lost 3 games, risked big in the two they won, the comeback in Detroit after the expulsion of LeBron and the success at home Pacers al extra with James dominant. The defeat with Sacramento definitely ignited a fire that was slowly lighting up. Vogel and the Lakers from the beginning of the season preach patience: the roster is practically all new (only LeBron, Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker confirmed compared to 2020-21), inserting a star like Russell Westbrook is complicated and injuries have certainly played a role in the very slow progress of the work. After 21 games, the moment of the regular season in which the first budgets are drawn, the Lakers are decidedly less strong than they should be: they have 10 wins and 11 losses.

pros and cons

The team is practically not modifiable with the exception of one piece: Vogel. For this reason the position of the coach is no longer as strong as it was in the past. The Lakers so far have only hinted at glimpses of what they could be, without ever being able to find continuity. The defense, which should be their strong point, is 29th out of 30 for points granted and is 20th for opponents points for every 100 possessions. The attack is 23 ° for efficiency. Vogel continues to manage the quintet in a fluid way, alternating the solution with DeAndre Jordan from the center and Anthony Davis from the big forward to that of the former monocle as the only long, flanked by LeBron (or by Carmelo Anthony, the most continuous of the Lakers since here when James was out). A solution that certainly did not help the team to find its own identity. As up to now, the inclusion of Russell Westbrook is working in flashes, never really seemed like a metronome for the team as in the plans at the beginning of the season. Or the leap in quality of Davis, who fails to be dominant and the number 1 star of the team as the Lakers would need. The yellow-purple continue to depend on LeBron, who just over a month after his 37th birthday continues to make a difference. Except that, contrary to what has happened so far in his career, his health is a question mark rather than a fixed point of the team. The Lakers would need a jolt, and the only way would be to give Vogel the welcome, sending an unequivocal message to the players. The management is held back by the central role that the coach in the fourth year in LA has in the management of the team: as in the year of the title, the Lakers function as a sort of quadrumvirate in which GM Rob Pelinka, Vogel, LeBron and Davis consult each other. and confront each other. The management obviously has the last word in management matters, as the coach makes the final decisions on what happens on the pitch. The other important factor is that all of LeBron’s teams, when new as the Lakers, had trouble early: the 2010-11 Heat started 9-8 and James was pushing for Pat Riley’s return to the bench in place of Eric. Spolestra; the 2014-15 Cavs were 19-20 before turning and running to the Finals. The turning point for these Lakers really looks like a winning streak away, but the situation at the moment is problematic and a change on the bench really seems the only way to give a shock.

the replacement

Vogel signed the renewal of his original contract in early August, which expires at the end of the season. However, the extension would be only one year, until 2023. He will continue to try to straighten the situation, starting with Sunday’s match against Detroit followed by a trip to Sacramento and two matches at the Staples Center against the Clippers and Celtics. If Vogel really were to jump, the internal solution would be the most likely and the number 1 candidate to take his place would be David Fizdale. The former Grizzlies and Knicks coach would also have LeBron’s blessing: Fizdale was Spoelstra’s deputy in James’ 4 years in Miami. The 47-year-old, 71-134 in career, replaced Jason Kidd as Vogel’s number 2 at the beginning of this season: it would be the solution already at home that would allow you to change things without changing them too much, bringing some new ideas but with the knowledge of who is already on the team. A little bit of that change that LeBron orchestrated at the Cavs in January 2016, the last time one of his coaches left during the running season: David Blatt jumped with Cleveland in first place in the East but many doubts about his value, giving the bench to deputy Tyronn Lue. LeBron liked him, it was said at the time. But he led the Cavs off the bench to a historic, sensational title. Will history repeat itself?

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Drafts from the Lakers home: Vogel risks the bench. The new coach would be …

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