Frank Vogel 'Can't Wait' for Lakers Fans at Staples Center

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 31, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

It's always a marquee matchup when the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics play, but it will be even more notable Thursday.

That's because the Lakers will host fans at Staples Center for the first time all season.

"Can't wait," head coach Frank Vogel said, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. "Man, I can't wait."

Vogel's comments came after the Lakers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 101-93 in Tuesday's contest. Kyle Kuzma led the way with 24 points, helping his team improve to 34-21 on the season.

Los Angeles has managed to avoid completely free-falling down the Western Conference standings with LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined, but it is still dealing with inconsistency and is 4-4 in the last eight.

Welcoming fans back for the first of a three-game homestand against the Celtics and Utah Jazz could help the Purple and Gold find some of that consistency as they approach the season's stretch run.

More importantly, this suggests the defending champions will be allowed to have fans at Staples Center for the playoffs.

They proved they can win without home-court advantage last season when they won the championship inside the Walt Disney World Resort bubble, but they also didn't have to go on the road for any of those playoff games.

Los Angeles will surely face raucous crowds on the road during the postseason with potential matchups against the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and others looming, so having the ability to counter with its own fans should help in the title defense.