Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Spills the Beans on Their Big Three’s 2021-22 Role

Published 10/18/2021, 9:37 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James, in his 19th year, still has a lot to achieve. He’s not someone who would be satisfied as the Michael Schumacher of basketball. Instead, he’d want to be Lewis Hamilton and beyond (in terms of records). For that to happen, his fourth year with the Lakers must become his best.

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Plus, he has his destiny attached to a duo os Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook to his support. Now, much to his credit, coach Frank Vogel has a plan to cover the intentions of all the three. The head of Lakers’ much strong coaching squad recently shared his white-board snippets with anyone interested.

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The Lakers and the load management

Last year, King James missed 27 games, mostly because of his right ankle woes. Even worse, Anthony Davis missed half the season and continued with his injury trouble in the playoffs. So now, a wise Frank Vogel does not want to repeat the error and expects a smart way to go about the season.

So in a recent interview, he revealed that King James will not be playing all of the 82 regular season games. Plus, he will give an equivalent of three quarters (36”) whenever he shows up. And a similar plan extends for both AD and Russ too.

This must at least mean that, interchangeably, two of the Big Three must always be in the playing roster. And in all honesty, this can work pretty well, just so that all of them are fit for the postseason.

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How does this plan compare with LeBron James, AD, & Russ’s past seasons

The last time LeBron James played a complete 82-game season was in 2017-18 for the first and probably the last time. Also, the last time Bron clocked 34+ minutes came during the 2020 champion-winning season. But there’s a catch, when it comes to the playoffs, there hasn’t ever been a series when the King played under 36”. 

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October 14, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the basketball against Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As for Anthony Davis, he hasn’t touched the 35” average in the last three years and he’s more injury prone than anyone. So it’ll be important to have some load management in place for the center-forward too.

Lastly, Russ has the potential to play the longest minutes among the three. Plus, he can also press the pedal and play more games to ensure a pillar always stands tall. 

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So do you also think coach Vogel is right at his new approach? Help us know in the comments section below.

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Sourabh Singh

1739 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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