With the entire state of California in quarantine and the NBA season suspended, people across the country are trying their best to stay busy, including the Los Angeles Lakers. While we’ve already some of the steps the players have taken to stay in shape, there’s another key member of the team that’s been hard at work, too: Frank Vogel.
In an interview with Chris McGee of Spectrum SportsNet on Wednesday, Vogel talked about what he’s been doing since the NBA suspended its season and, in addition to the time he’s spending with his family, he’s been watching a lot of basketball, as ironic as that may sound:
“The last week or so, I’ve been knocking out some film projects. I watched a lot of our games just to study where we were at with our offensive package, our defensive system, the ways we were growing, taking notes, making sure that we’re prepared to pick up where left off.
“Obviously, if you go on the NBA app on Apple TV, you can watch every single one of the games that our potential playoff opponents have played, so there’s a great opportunity to sit on the couch, log on to games and just watch them in flow. We coaches, we watch a lot of edits that are sorted by defensive coverages, the offensive playbook, etc. — but it’s nice to be able to just watch games and get a feel for that opponent.”
With 19 games left on the Lakers’ regular season schedule, they don’t know who they’re going to play in the first round of the playoffs, but they have a good idea.
The Lakers are currently 5.5 games ahead of the No. 2 seed LA Clippers in the Western Conference, and if the regular season returns on a shortened schedule — something that’s become a growing possibility — they’ll likely hold onto that spot. Assuming that’s the case, they’ll play the No. 8 seed in the first round, which could be the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently vacate the final playoff spot, or one of the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, all of whom are 3.5 games of the No. 8 seed.
Outside of the eighth seed, the teams that are all but set in the Western Conference, but the seeding isn’t. Still, that’s enough for Vogel to work with, and it sounds like he and his coaching staff are already beefing up their scouting reports.
There are questions about how prepared the Lakers (and the rest of the NBA) will be from a physical standpoint when the season resumes, but in terms of tactical preparedness, it sounds like Los Angeles is in good hands.