As chaos ensued for the Boston Celtics following the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, there is one coach they should consider as a temporary replacement: Frank Vogel.
Even as Boston has Joe Mazzulla officially filled in at the helm, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said to not count out Vogel as an option yet.
For those hesitant about getting Vogel due to his last stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, it should be fair to point out the number of asterisks that derailed him and the team last season. The Lakers suffered plenty of injuries during the 2021-22 campaign, including their best players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With them missing significant time, the team was unable to form consistency within the rotation at any point which resulted in them missing the playoffs entirely.
Not only should Vogel not be scapegoated for what happened that season, but people also should not forget he won an NBA title as the Lakers’ head coach in 2020, especially with a healthy James and Davis alongside a strong supporting cast.
With a top three defense, Los Angeles dominated the league with a 52-19 record in the regular season alongside a 16-5 record in the playoffs. Defending its title the following season, the team started 21-6 until injuries to James and Davis derailed them to a first-round exit in six games to the Phoenix Suns.
Frank Vogel has won a title with a similar team to this year’s Boston Celtics
There is some similarity between the 2020 Lakers and this year’s Boston Celtics. Both possess two star players, starters who know and understand their role, and a bench that is capable of playing with versatility on both ends of the court while taking weight off the star players’ backs.
Despite the recent announcements of forward Danilo Gallinari’s ACL injury, starting center Robert Williams’ recovery from an arthroscopic knee procedure, and now Ime Udoka’s suspension, Boston should still be seen as one of the title favorites in the NBA.
By hiring the defensive-minded Vogel to the coaching staff, the Celtics can maintain the elite defense they had last season on route to the NBA Finals and make solid improvements offensively with the additions they made this offseason. If it does not work out, the Boston Celtics would still be in contention for a deep playoff run with the talent they have. The best case scenario, of course, would be hanging Banner 18 into the rafters.