Vogel On Rondo, Starters, Waiters, Smith

Though the Lakers suffered a surprising 100-93 loss to the Trail Blazers in the first game of their conference quarterfinals series on Tuesday, head coach Frank Vogel has indicated that he will not make any adjustments to his current starting lineup ahead of tonight’s second “home” game, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

On Tuesday, the Lakers started All-Star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis, along with center JaVale McGee, and guards Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

McGee played just 12 minutes on Tuesday. Backup power forward Kyle Kuzma, meanwhile, logged 30 minutes of game action, with Davis shifting to a center role when playing alongside Kuzma. Point guard Alex Caruso played 29 minutes off the bench, the same amount of time as Caldwell-Pope and six more minutes than sharpshooter Green.

Backup center Dwight Howard and power forward Markieff Morris also logged more time than McGee, a solid post defender without much offensive range. Starting Davis at center, with either Kuzma or Caruso replacing McGee in the starting lineup, could present a unique opportunity for the Lakers to spread the floor against Portland.

Backup point guard Rajon Rondo, who has been recovering from a fractured right thumb suffered five weeks ago, will remain inactive for tonight’s game. Rondo was medically cleared for action on August 17. Rondo had the thumb surgically repaired on July 16. He has yet to suit up for the Lakers during the team’s summer games.

Vogel also noted that he will find playing time for recent waiver additions Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith, per Mark Medina of USA Today (Twitter link). In the first game of the series, Waiters saw the court for just one minute, and took no field goal attempts, while Smith did not play at all.

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2 thoughts on “Vogel On Rondo, Starters, Waiters, Smith

  1. x%sure

    Lakers found McGee today. They missed him open on their first possession yesterday and never made it right. Caruso is doing well guarding Lilliard; Laker guards are covering; overall the Lakers have planned their defense to discourage what their opponent wants to do.

    TV had a close-up of Lebron shouting something like “what we’re made of”… that could be thrown back at them… teams are alternating getting mad!

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Blazers have been playing for awhile now. They mailed it in after 3. Lakers bench played much better. AD and Bron had help. This was team effort. Nice comeback. Bron only with 10 pts and 26 mins. That’s a good sign with a win. Blazers miss Collins. OK we got a series.

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