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Lakers Rumors: Frank Vogel Facing 'Increasing Pressure' After LA's 10-10 Start

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 26, 2021

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers signals against the Detroit Pistons during the third quarter of the game at Little Caesars Arena on November 21, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. 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. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled en route to their 10-10 start, and the pressure could be on head coach Frank Vogel.

Per longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein in his "This Week in Basketball" column on Substack (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll), "There is also rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on Frank Vogel given the Lakers’ worrisome 10-10 start ..given L.A.’s lack of flexibility to make roster changes."

The Lakers are arguably worse than their 10-10 record shows. They rank 23rd in net rating, per Basketball-Reference, and also allow the second-most points per game in the NBA (113.2 PPG).

Missing LeBron James for 11 of the team's 20 games hasn't helped. James has missed much of the season with an abdominal strain.

When he's on the court, the four-time NBA MVP has averaged 24.6 points, 6.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. L.A. is also 6-3 in James' nine contests.

The question is whether the Lakers' Big Three of James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook can all stay healthy.

If they do and the team wins at the rate it's shown with that group on the court, then any reported pressure on Vogel should dissipate.

However, any longer-term injuries to any of those three could be a big problem. This team was built around that core, with the rest of the roster largely consisting of veterans on one-year deals being asked to fill specific roles as complements around James, Westbrook and Davis. The team does't have much flexibility, as Stein noted, to really make any wholesale changes. 

Vogel has been the Lakers' coach for three seasons, and he led L.A. to a championship during his first season. Last year's 42-30 Lakers team lost in the first round of the playoffs as injuries to Davis and James prevented the team from reaching greater heights.

This year's Lakers will look to move over .500 on Friday when they host the Sacramento Kings.