Frank Vogel is looking to find ways to reduce the playtime of the Lakers’ superstar LeBron James. James has been receiving increased minutes since Anthony Davis’ injury in early February.
Vogel talked about James’ situation as his minutes increased to 37.3 since Game 16, where Davis was sidelined due to a calf strain.
The veteran superstar averaged nearly 32 minutes per contest in the first 15 games of the season. Heading to the All-Star Break, Vogel decided to handle James’ playtime differently.
“It’s actually something we’ve done coming into the break,” Vogel said. “The final few games we wanted to use a rotation where instead of him coming out at six and playing that normal rotation with Anthony [Davis] out, with Marc [Gasol] it made sense in extending his third quarter playing him down toward the end and then giving him the first couple minutes of the fourth off. Bring him in about the nine-minute mark to close the rest of the way.
“It’s something that we looked at and we liked it going into the break. We decided we were going to stick with it and see how it looked tonight. He was able to come back in fresh and close the game out.”
The Lakers will need James to take over in the regular season at least until Anthony Davis gets back from injury. However, in his 18th season, resting James takes precedence with the team trying for the repeat.