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Lakers’ Frank Vogel drops Dwight Howard lineup bombshell ahead of Clippers showdown

deandre jordan, frank vogel, dwight howard, lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to turn their season around after a rough start to the year that has seen the team go 12-11 through its first 23 contests. Head coach Frank Vogel is planning to shake things up with a starting lineup change.

Vogel told reporters on Thursday that he plans to insert center Dwight Howard into the Lakers’ starting lineup. In turn, Vogel suggested that DeAndre Jordan would see a significant decrease in playing time with Howard moving into a starting role.

“We made the decision a couple games ago to—because we were trying to play both of those guys in really short minutes, is either one really able to get into a rhythm?—we made the decision to only use one of them (unless obviously we have foul trouble or what not). It was DeAndre for a bit. I decided in the middle of the first quarter of last game that I wanted to see what Dwight could do. And it was Dwight for the rest of that game. And I do intend to start Dwight tomorrow against the Clippers. But it will be a situation we just monitor on a game to game basis going forward. But with the intention of really just giving those center minutes to just one player, not 2. Whether it’s DeAndre or Dwight.”

Vogel insisted that the Lakers will utilize a game-by-game approach when it comes to the two veteran centers. On the year, Howard is averaging 5.2 points and 5.3 rebounds across 14.7 minutes per night. Jordan, on the other hand, is posting season averages of 4.8 points and 6.0 rebounds, logging 13.8 minutes per game.

When discussing his conversations with Jordan regarding the change, Vogel said the 33-year-old remained professional and understands the ultimate goal of the season is to win a championship.

“Everybody that signed on with us this year understands the bigger picture. This is a team that is trying to compete for a championship, and sacrifice is going to be required at times. All of those conversations have been super healthy and well received.”

The Lakers have won two consecutive games and will look to make it three in a row on Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. While Jordan may have been looking forward to a rematch with his old team, it looks like Vogel doesn’t plan on utilizing the big man in the rivalry game.

Vogel is hoping the Lakers aren’t hampered too harshly by the loss of LeBron James, who is out due to a positive COVID-19 test. By mixing up the rotation ahead of a big game, he’s clearly hoping to see some inspired play on the interior.