According to reporting from The Athletic, Frank Vogel’s job as head coach of the Lakers after 44 games.
At 22-22, the Lakers haven’t met the championship standards that were set after acquring a fleet of future Hall-of-Famers in Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo. The Lakers haven’t been more than three games above .500 at any point during this season, and after starting 2022 on a high-note with a four-game win streak, have lost three of it’s last found contests. Including a 37-point blowout loss to the Nuggets over the weekend.
Going into their game against the Jazz on Monday, Bill Oram and Sam Amick reported that Vogel was “coaching for his job after he narrowly avoided being fired in the wake of the blowout loss in Denver 48 hours earlier.” If the Lakers lost in similar fashion to the Jazz, Oram and Amick wrote it would’ve been his last game. However, the Lakers outlasted the Jazz for a 101-95 win on Monday.
Vogel’s job is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and is at risk of being fired if the Lakers don’t improve after Monday. Injuries have been the main culprit behind the Lakers struggles and inability to build any chemistry or continuity in their rotation, offense, or defense. Building an offense around Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis has proven to be difficult with injuries and COVID-19 protocols robbing the trio of time together on the court.
The Lakers’ defense, a hallmark of Vogel’s first two seasons, has become less and less prioritized while the Lakers decided to sign older veterans over younger more athletic players that can play on both sides of the ball. As of Monday, the Lakers rank 18th in defensive efficiency, and 24th on offense with a 23rd ranked net rating. Before outlasting the Jazz, the Lakers had struggled mightily to beat the better teams in the league.
The writing has seemingly been on the wall since Vogel and the Lakers agreed to a one-year extension over the summer. The deal keeps him around until the 2022-2023 season and was seen as an reward for leading the Lakers to a 59-29 record and title in 2020 but left the door open for a potential dismissal if the Lakers failed to meet expectations. Since then, Los Angeles is 64-52 in the regular season and is coming off a first-round playoff exit.
The Lakers host the Pacers on Wednesday before embarking on a six-game road trip. Los Angeles is just 7-11 on the road this season.