The Los Angeles Lakers are only a little over a month away from kicking off their season against the Los Angeles Clippers. Although we are so close to the beginning of the season, there are still plenty of question marks revolving around the Lakers’ starting lineup as well as the lineup rotations during the game.
One position that will possibly be the most enigmatic position battle to watch is the center position. The Lakers have JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard as their two, true centers, but there’s another player that might find himself playing there, and that’s Anthony Davis.
Frank Vogel was recently asked about the prospect of playing Davis at the four or five during the season, and had this to say (interviewed by Steve Aschburner/NBA.com):
To me, he’s effective in both positions. But I don’t think it’s wise when your mindset is to be at your best going into the playoffs, to have him banging with centers for 82 games full-time. Does that mean he’s never going to do it in the regular season? No, of course he’s going to play some center in the regular season. But we want to make sure we keep the end goal in sight and getting him to April, for that playoff run, the right way.
If there’s one person who will be happy about Vogel’s words, it’s Anthony Davis. Davis has been on the record many times that he does not like playing the center position, and as the Lakers will be hoping to re-sign Davis to a long-term extension in 2020, I’m sure they will do their best to make him happy in that regard.
Vogel does mention that he will more than likely not be at the power forward position for every minute of every game, and that’s good for the Lakers. If Davis never played at the five, that would mean that JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard would be on the court at all times. The Lakers just aren’t going to be a championship team if that’s the case.
Vogel has plenty of challenges ahead of him trying to coach a LeBron James and Anthony Davis team. Figuring out how to position Davis within the lineups to best succeed will be one of those challenges.