It has been a struggle for the LA Lakers since the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. The Lakers put together a star-studded and experienced team in order to have another shot at an NBA championship. But fans are beginning to question their chances following their slow start to the season.
Head coach Frank Vogel has been under fire for the LA Lakers' disappointing start to the season. With some fans calling for the firing of Vogel, but the franchise is not paying attention to those demands just yet.
According to NBA writer Mark Medina, Vogel has stated that he is focused on the job despite criticism and is trying to take it one game at a time.
“We’re focused on the job. We stay in the moment, focus on the task at hand and try to win the next game and try to get some momentum around our season.”
“It’s not up to me. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. Really just focused on the job.”
LA Lakers president Jeanie Buss was asked about her satisfaction with Vogel's performance so far during the halftime break at the (soon to be renamed) Staples Center when the team hosted the Boston Celtics.
“We’re as connected as any organization can be. I really don’t know what you’re looking for me to say. I would say until we’re 100 percent healthy, I won’t make any judgments about anything.”
Team captain LeBron James has also come out to defend Vogel. He previously said he loves the setup of the team and everyone on the roster, but he is holding them accountable.
“I think criticism comes with the job, you know? Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. And we as his players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. We’re a team and an organization that don’t mind some adversity, that don’t mind people saying things about us, obviously, because it comes with the territory.”
Vogel has an active contract with the LA Lakers that will keep him with the franchise through the 2022-23 season. In his first year with the Lakers, he led them to a championship for the first time since 2010.
Do the LA Lakers have a shot at the championship this season?
The talent is there, as the LA Lakers have one of the most stacked teams in the league. But judging by recent form, defeating either the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors in a playoff series will be near impossible.
The principal factor that inspired the Russell Westbrook trade is still a problem for the LA Lakers. Russ was brought in to direct traffic and guarantee victories on occasions where LeBron is unavailable, but the Lakers hold a a 5-7 record without James so far this season.
A top-four finish might be possible for the LA Lakers this season despite being on a 13-12 run and occupying sixth position in the Western Conference standings. To achieve that, they will have to stay consistent with their productivity.
So far this season, the LA Lakers have hovered around the .500 mark and are yet to put together a solid win streak. The purple and gold have not won four consecutive games at any point this season, and for them to be seen as contenders, they should be able to go on extended winning runs.
With King James on the roster, anything is possible. But much more production will be needed from the supporting cast on both ends of the floor if the Lakers hope to go all the way in the 2021-22 season.