The Lakers and their bad timing

May 20, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Frank Vogel (right) addresses the media at a press conference as he is introduced as the new Los Angeles Lakers head coach at UCLA Health Training Center. Left is Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When I was younger, I was taught to always clean my plate. This was especially important when considering a second helping of food. That didn’t help me much as an older man whose metabolism has been slower than the healing of every injury to a Lakers player over the past two seasons. If I were a guru, I’d give this same advice to this franchise.

The Lakers secured a signature win against the Utah Jazz on Monday night. The game followed what was arguably their worst basketball game in the past three seasons as the Nuggets smacked them by 37 points. Along with the bounce-back victory, they received news that Anthony Davis is cleared and ready for contact. The All-Star big man has been out since December 17th, and the Lakers have gone 6-9 over the stretch of his absence. The week had started in a very positive place.

But then Tuesday morning came with a fury.

Reports came out that head coach Frank Vogel is on the hot seat. As a matter of fact, had they not won on Monday, the Lakers would probably be without him at this current moment.

More than half the season has ended, and the Lakers are in jeopardy of doing a restart. On top of that, Vogel’s coaching staff is in danger as well, in what’s described as an evaluation on a “game-to-game” basis.

To add more fuel to the fire, there’s a perceived divide between the front office and coaching staff. The infamous Kurt Rambis is said to be the voice applying pressure on Vogel. He’s reportedly wanted them to play Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. But the Lakers have elected to play small with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

You see what I mean by a divide?

The last thing this team needed was a public feud. Regardless of who denies what, the optics on these reports are certainly not encouraging. Human nature breeds natural disagreements and opposition, especially when competitiveness is involved, so conflict is understandable.

The problem with this is the Lakers and their self-inflicted downfalls. It was already going to be tough to balance this roster by the trade deadline. Now they’re pretty much looking to start from the ground up with a change at the head coaching position. The Lakers aren’t equipped to do this and turn their season around into contention.

Once this season is over, there will be a ton of questions to answer about the direction this franchise will go. Do free agents want to walk into a franchise where glorified consultants hold power over the coaches? This would mean that they can also affect what’s happening on the court, by default.

The Lakers need to read the room a little better. This was a team that started to do a better job of stopping leaks from their front office. Now they’re leaning into everything and it’s playing out in front of our eyes.

Timing is everything. It could not be more horrible than now for the Lakers. If they can’t get things together soon, this could prove to be a waste of what should’ve been a positive season amidst uncontrollable circumstances. The least they can do is control what they can with much more care.

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