Frank Vogel angering Lakers fans with 1 particular decision
The Los Angeles Lakers are limping to the finish line of the regular season, and head coach Frank Vogel is not exactly building any goodwill either.
The Lakers lost again on Sunday to the Denver Nuggets, bringing them one step closer to elimination from the play-in tournament. Curiously enough, Vogel decided not to play rookie guard Austin Reaves a single minute in either of the last two games. While the Lakers were close to full strength against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, LeBron James was out on Sunday against Denver. Reaves did not play in either contest.
That led many angry Lakers fans to question what on earth Vogel was doing suddenly benching Reaves, one of their hardest workers and top defenders.
Austin Reaves just being removed entirely from the rotation by Frank Vogel is an outrageous decision.
The sheer amount of discouraging self-sabotage Lakers fans have had to endure this year is amazing.
— Jason Timpf (@_JasonLT) April 3, 2022
austin reaves not seeing a second in the first half is just ridiculous man dude has been consistent all year and doesn’t play anymore man
— Rome (@Rome_Beast) April 3, 2022
Austin Reaves getting DNPs during our most important stretch is BLASPHEMOUS pic.twitter.com/3MXFcuLItx
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) April 3, 2022
Pretty disappointed in a season where effort & care has been questioned all year…Vogel decides to bench the one guy who consistently gave a crap and was a lone bright spot for most of this season.
— Raj C. (@RajChipalu) April 3, 2022
I just don't understand going completely away from Reaves. Whatever. Four games left and were done with this unserious organization for a while.
— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) April 3, 2022
Reaves, an undrafted rookie, has been one of the only Lakers to play with pride this season and has injected the team with energy and passion every time he has been out on the floor. For Vogel to rely on players like Talen Horton-Tucker (-11 in 18 minutes on Sunday), Avery Bradley (-9 in 28 minutes), and even Carmelo Anthony (-8 in 26 minutes) over Reaves, especially in such a crucial stretch of the season, is just unfathomable.
Vogel surviving this deep into the Lakers’ hideous season without being fired means that he is almost certainly finishing out the 2021-22 campaign as their head coach. But abruptly nailing the one-time starter Reaves to his bench is just the latest in what has been a year full of lowlights for Vogel.
Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports