Although the Lakers are now 2-4 in the bubble seeding games so far, there can still be comfort found in the fact that head coach Frank Vogel has been experimental with the rotations he has used so far. The reasoning has been the fact that the Lakers haven’t played for four months before the bubble, and that he wanted to give certain players run when they might not get any run in the playoffs at all. That way, they’re ready in an emergency situation in the playoffs. In addition, the Lakers added new players that hadn’t played with the team at all prior to the break with Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith.
The rotations have become extremely varied in the past few games. Those variations became extreme last night in the Lakers’ 116-111 loss to the Pacers, as Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters, and J.R. Smith all did not play despite being healthy. Vogel reiterated his confidence in those players following the game, saying he just wanted to give Talen Horton-Tucker, Quinn Cook, and Jared Dudley some run (per Kyle Goon of the OC Register). Vogel then expanded on the situation moving forward, saying that he will continue to experiment in the final two games (per Bill Oram of The Athletic).
Asked about whether he will continue to experiment with lineups or show a real playoff rotation in last two games, Frank Vogel said he will mostly continue to experiment. "I have an idea of what that rotation is going to look like," he said.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) August 9, 2020
Although Frank Vogel seems confident with saying that he knows what rotations for the playoffs will look like, that won’t give much comfort to Lakers fans who are searching for some after the 2-4 start. This means we won’t know exactly what the team will look like in their first-round series that will start August 17th. There are some definite question marks floating around the team right now, including Danny Green who sat out the game on Saturday against the Pacers after a horrid start to the bubble. With only two games left, those types of questions will probably go unanswered.
Vogel and the Lakers will just have to see if their season-long recipe will continue to work in the playoffs, even though it hasn’t worked so far in the bubble.