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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Frank Vogel on verge of being fired by Lakers?

Those who said the Los Angeles Lakers would be too old to compete for a championship this season have been proven right thus far, but the head coach may wind up taking the fall for the team’s unsurprising struggles.

The Lakers bounced back with a win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night after they were blown out by the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. The victory may have temporarily saved head coach Frank Vogel’s job. According to Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Vogel “narrowly avoided being fired” following L.A.’s 37-point loss to Denver. Many believe the Lakers would have made the if they had a similar performance on Monday.

With the Lakers now back to .500 and in seventh place in the Western Conference, Vogel’s grip over the locker room is reportedly being monitored closely. The team’s effort level on Monday likely helped, but it is never a good sign when a coach is said to be that close to losing his job. It’s fair to wonder if Vogel would be able to survive another poor stretch of play.

The Lakers have dealt with injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell Westbrook has not seemed like a great fit in L.A., even if he did energize the team with a huge dunk on Monday. The team has also struggled defensively this season, which is a concern considering that is an area in which Vogel is known for having success.

Vogel obviously is not responsible for all of the Lakers’ issues. LeBron even issued an apology after Saturday’s loss, which may have come in response to being called out by Magic Johnson. The Lakers simply have too many core players who are past their primes, which is an issue most people saw coming.

Perhaps the biggest concern recently for the Lakers has been the seeming lack of effort. That changed in the 101-95 win over Utah. If that change doesn’t become permanent, it sounds like Vogel will suffer the biggest consequence.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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