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October 2, 2020

Frank Vogel

Los Angeles Lakers

Game 2: Pregame

Q. If Miami plays one of their bigs at the five who can shoot the three, what are some of the keys that you guys dealt with this season dealing -- or what are the ways that you dealt with teams going that way on the perimeter in terms of getting your bigs out rotated and protecting the three-point line?

FRANK VOGEL: Definitely presents a different challenge than Bam would with his rolls and drives to the basket, but we have coverages in place with our big lineups. We just have to make sure we execute them, but they are challenging, a different type of challenge, and we always have the option to go small if we needed to.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Anthony Davis defensively, there was a play in the first half where Dragic drove in and he was able to both kind of take away the lob and entry pass and still block the shot. Just wondered if you've seen him evolve as the season has gone on compared to where he was at the beginning of the season defensively and how that's impacted things?

FRANK VOGEL: Yeah, I think so. Obviously the talent has always been there. You know that was a coverage play, a read of where the driver is on the floor. But he's as good as anybody in the league. JaVale McGee is as good as anybody in the league at taking away with the lob, and his stunt-and-recover type of coverage. If the ball handler keeps it, comes to the rim, those guys have the ability to react at the last minute and make the play on that ball. That's what happened on that play, and I think that's where Anthony has grown throughout the course of the season just understanding those coverages.

Q. You had a game against Portland where Dame was out and they played you guys pretty competitively. Is that something you pull out of the drawer when you think about this game without Goran and Bam?

FRANK VOGEL: Yeah, there's been plenty of examples all throughout our seasons, all throughout our guys’ career where next man up type of team, you face those guys, they present different challenges and the new guys that come in have new opportunities that they weren't getting and they are going to be charged up for them.

Oftentimes these games are more difficult to win. Our guys understand that, and we're going to have to be great tonight to get a W.

Q. I think all season long we tried to get you to talk about big picture stuff of the season and you were always very much, stay in the moment, stay in the moment. Is this when that kind of message pays of in these particular moments, and how has your team handled that message throughout the year?

FRANK VOGEL: Yeah, a stay-in-the-moment mindset I don't think ever goes away. I think the only thing we need to worry about right now is winning Game 2.

But this is an opponent that we have great respect for, so what I do like about the stay in the moment mindset is throughout the course of the season, that single-minded focus on that day's work really builds great habits. That's why we've had confidence throughout this playoff run. We've had confidence in the habits that we've developed throughout the course of the season. We've talked all season long about these are the habits that are going to win for us in the playoffs, and hope that to be the case tonight.

Q. JaVale and Dwight and Markieff have always made significant contributions to your run playing the five but the numbers with Anthony at the five are just overwhelming. Is there another stage to his development at some point where it should be obvious that he should play the majority of his minutes there? I'm not saying necessarily in this series, just as he progresses in his career?

FRANK VOGEL: Well, we'll see. I still think there's value in somebody absorbing a lot of banging that goes into playing the five even in the modern era. There's big, strong centers that, you can ask Anthony to do it, and Anthony can do it, but is that the smartest use of one of your best players, one of the best players in the world, to put him at risk like that when quite frankly, you mentioned the numbers of late, something like the other night, Anthony at the five was really good.

But throughout the course of the season it was pretty even, and most of the season, actually, we were better with him at the four. We have success with both lineups. I think going forward there is value in playing alongside another center.

Q. By this time of year you'll hear players and coaches say that you pretty much know what the other team is going to be running because of all the film and exposure and all that. With that in mind, given how Miami is going to have to do some things differently, how challenging is it to anticipate what they will do?

FRANK VOGEL: Well, we know what it will look like. It's just getting our guys used to that, that difference in particular with Bam versus three-point shooting bigs and then obviously Kendrick Nunn is similar in some ways to Dragic and different in some ways, but we have to make sure we account for them. Tyler Herro is going to get the ball more. Trying to slow down Herro and Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson's pin-down game becomes more challenging in some ways. I would say more challenging and differently challenging when you have five three-point shooters out there, and you know, we've seen it throughout the course of the year. We know what goes into it, but it's going to be a different feel than Game 1.

Q. How much has Alex Caruso impacted the games in these playoffs?

FRANK VOGEL: He's impacted the games a great deal. He really has the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball, which is what we love about Alex, is the more two-way players we can have around LeBron and Anthony, the better. He's an elite-level defender. He can guard multiple positions. His ability to contain the basketball but also be one of those guys that's active in the passing lanes is rare and unique, and obviously the versatility he brings offensively with his ability to shoot the basketball, but also make plays off the bounce makes him invaluable, as well. He's been an invaluable part of this playoff run, and we're going to need him to play at a high level if we hope to win the series.

Q. So both LeBron and AD were talking about yesterday how the relationship is so special because there's no jealousy in it. I'm wondering, is that something that you helped instill in him or is that something that just came organically from them and how their relationship just matured?

FRANK VOGEL: Yeah, I think that's just on those guys. That's the relationship those two guys have with one another. It really is within both of their personality, which is what makes this pairing so special, so unique, is they are two alphas, but they also have a make-the-right-play mindset, a selflessness to them, that is just a winning attribute.

To have that when they look at each other and have that partnership where they are just pulling for each other, you know, and on the same page, trying to compete for this championship is really special.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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