Los Angeles basketball fans are quite used to seeing their team win. The NBA preseason is no different. Expectations from the Lakers fans are always high, and any season that does not conclude with a championship title is considered a failure.
After an exciting NBA offseason, the NBA preseason will be like an extension of the Summer League where players will be given one last chance to prove themselves before training camp. However, one must remember that the Lakers missed the playoffs for the last six seasons in a row. This NBA preseason, they will not only be expected to end their long-drawn playoffs but also contend for the season’s title as well.
Those may seem like grand hopes for a team with a new coach and nine new players, but Frank Vogel looks confident and in his element. Talking to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Vogel confided that he believes his players have the potential to make a deep impression in the NBA preseason as long as they all take time to learn from each other.
“We have the pieces to compete for a championship. To have expectations that it’s all going to come together immediately might be reaching a little bit. I’m sure we’ll have some bumps in the road. But hopefully as these guys gel… we have a number of guys with terrific resumes, but they have to learn from each other.”
Frank is focusing on toughness and defense strategies at the Lakers’ practices. In fact, the NBA preseason will have a distinctively robust defensive theme for the LA Lakers.
“You’re coming to play L.A. Lakers, you’re going to get hit,” Vogel announced on the very first day of the practice sessions. “You’re going to get smashed in the mouth.”
Frank Vogel, who served as coach for both Orlando Magic and Pacers before heading west, led Indiana to the league’s second position in scoring defense in 2012-2013, and again in 2013-2014. The LA Lakers, too, can benefit from the defensive prowess of their new coach after the team finished 15th on defense in the last NBA season.
“He’s a defensive coach and wants to have a defensive mindset,” Davis said while talking about Vogel. “We’re going to be a defensive team. We made sure we covered a lot of defensive schemes today.”
While Vogel knows that one of the things that a struggling team can do is play well on the defensive end, the LA Lakers are also expected to be strong on the offensive end, what with star players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster. A team is more than the sum of its parts, and while it might still be a rickety roster in LA, there is a real potential for the Lakers to make a real comeback this NBA preseason.
Fortunately, the team has a number of players who are already familiar and comfortable playing alongside each other. Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo make an extraordinary pair, and both have spent a lot of time together when they played for the New Orleans Pelicans. Similarly, JaVale McGee and Quinn Cook are a smashing duo, who won a championship together in 2018 with the Golden State Warriors. Not to mention that the LA Lakers’ two celebrity players, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, share the same agent between them.
All in all, the biggest bond that is yet to be formed is between Coach Frank Vogel and his team. While Frank has been in the NBA league for a good twenty years, surprisingly, he has never had the opportunity to lead any of the players on the LA Lakers’ roster. One of the challenges that Frank Vogel faces is coaching the league’s superstar LeBron James.
As the Lakers are mostly stuck with what they have right now, that could in fact be a good thing. When you acquire some of the most talented individuals in the NBA league’s history, then you are allowed to expect a great season. There are a lot of new developments and changes, and no time to experiment. The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be back on the court playing the NBA preseason games in just a few days, and Lakers fans have great expectations for them.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.