The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to an extremely underwhelming start this season and it led many to argue that Frank Vogel was on the hot seat. The head coach is naturally the first target when things are not going well and even though Vogel just coached his way to an NBA Championship 14 months ago, Laker fans were not happy.
I already argued why it does not make sense to fire Vogel and why most of the blame should be put on the front office. The failures of the team have far more to do with the construction of the team and the execution of the players more so than it does Vogel’s coaching.
Some fans still were not convinced and in the last two games, they have gotten a taste of what things will be like if Vogel does indeed get canned. Vogel was placed on the league’s COVID-19 list and coaching in his place has been assistant head coach, David Fizdale. If Vogel were to get fired, Fizdale would almost certainly take over as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.
So, how has it looked?
The Los Angeles Lakers have looked exactly the same. David Fizdale has saved Frank Vogel’s job.
Spoiler alert: it does not matter much right now who the head coach of this basketball team is. This is a roster that is old, unbalanced and simply does not play well together. The Lakers have lost both games that he has coached pretty easily, losing to Chicago by five and to Phoenix by 18.
Yes, the Lakers are dealing with depth issues because of injuries and the COVID-19 list but the team got reinforcements back for the Phoenix game. Plus, Vogel dealt with a lot of depth issues for most of the season as well.
Fizdale still made the same questionable coaching decisions. He gave DeAndre Jordan a decent role (out of necessity) and made strange decisions such as playing Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo on the floor at the same time. These are all decisions that must be made because of the roster situation.
All this proves that firing Vogel is not the answer. Sure, the team could look like they are making an effort to change things by letting Vogel go but they are only going to go to a worse head coach. Fizdale has not succeeded much in the NBA, whereas Vogel as least has a winning track record.
Fizdale has coached one winning season and has been fired twice just weeks into a season. His overall record as a head coach is 71-134. Is that really what you want for the Lakers, especially seeing how he made virtually no difference, if not made the team worse, in his two games as acting head coach?
The Lakers have to lie in the bed that they made themselves and that means sticking with Frank Vogel and this roster. The roster has been the problem, after all, and Rob Pelinka should be under far more scrutiny than he is.