Amid a struggling season, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to find the key to unlock their potential and become the serious candidate they appeared to be before the start of the season. Russell Westbrook hasn't found his spot on the team, struggling to get things going at Crypto.com Arena.
Anthony Davis has dealt with injuries again, which has worsened the team's situation. Before going down, Davis was expected to play center, given how poor DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard have fared at the five.
Even though the two veterans have struggled to make an impact on the court, some people still consider them good pieces to help the Lakers. The team's special advisor Kurt Rambis reportedly pushed for lineups with Jordan and Howard playing at center.
In recent weeks, the team adopted a small-ball lineup, with LeBron James playing at center. This worked for the team, as they entered a good streak with The King as the big man. Yet, for Rambis, a good way to improve the Lakers' current situation was using Jordan and Howard more.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations and general manager, and Kurt Rambis, the team’s senior basketball advisor, met with Vogel and assistant coach David Fizdale after last week’s loss to the Sacramento Kings to discuss ways to turn things around. It was the third time the group had met in recent days.
The Lakers then lost on Saturday to the Denver Nuggets by 37 points, their worst defeat of the season, putting more heat on Vogel.
Rambis then attended the Lakers’ pregame coaches meeting Monday at Crypto.com Arena for the first time this season, after previously only attending meetings virtually. Rambis advocated for the Lakers to use larger lineups with Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Frank Vogel is reportedly on the hot seat right now, and the win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night helped him a lot. It's unclear if Rambis will keep pushing to see Jordan and Howard more time on the court, but the Lakers could be finding their touch after an inspiring victory over the Jazz.
Russell Westbrook looked very good; the team played great basketball and things looked very smooth for them. If this is the beginning of a solid streak for the Lakers, the second half of the season could be very happy for the Californians.