In Defense of Frank Vogel

Daniel Lubofsky
4 min readDec 10, 2021

There’s a lot of noise regarding Frank Vogel’s job security at the moment. It’s probably grown louder following the Lakers’ 13-point loss to the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies on Thursday, dropping them to an even .500 on the season through 26 games.

His seat might not be hot, but given the team he coaches and the expectations they have, it’s definitely growing warmer.

Which is stupid.

I’m not going to pretend I know exactly how good of a job Vogel has done from the sidelines this season. I don’t follow the Lakers that closely. And aside from the fact that it’s always difficult to tell where the influence of a coach ends and those of the players begin, I don’t need that insight, because it’s irrelevant.

Whatever questions there are about Vogel’s abilities to coach this team are no more than a branch that has stemmed from the root of the problem, which is the fact that this Lakers team is simply not well constructed. We’ve known that to be the case ever since they blew up a good chunk of their rotation to acquire Russell Westbrook on draft day, which set off a bunch of other decisions that could only make the best of the bad situation they created for themselves. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when the questions we all had about this team before the season have already reared their head.

LA’s title team of 2020 was built by surrounding the greatness of LeBron James and Anthony Davis with guys who could complement them at both ends of the floor. Two years later, it’s as if Vogel has to choose which side of the ball he wants to be effective on at any given point within a game.

“Lean toward the guys you think give you a better shot of stalling dribble penetration, like (Avery) Bradley and (Talen) Horton-Tucker, and you give defenses carte blanche to pack the paint and risk offensive gridlock,” wrote The Ringer’s Dan Devine. “Go too far the other way, with heavier minutes for shoot-first defensive liabilities like Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, and Wayne Ellington, and you risk a steady stream of…

Daniel Lubofsky

I write about the NBA, MCU, other movies/shows and any other topic I feel like.