Raptors turn up heat on Frank Vogel with crazy quarter vs. Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05: Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05: Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors had quite the tall task ahead of them tonight, at least on paper. Facing LeBron James at home is never easy, even if Frank Vogel and his Los Angeles Lakers were playing without most of their big names in what has become a nightmare season for them.

Toronto knew that they would need to start fast to make sure that James was unable to take the game over in a clutch situation. Considering how they beat the stuffing out of the Lakers early on, I’d say it’s fair to assume they accomplished that goal.

Toronto ended the first quarter up 33-12, as their combination of length and speed helped them reach leads of 21-2, 26-4, and 30-6 during this quarter. Unsurprisingly, Wenyen Gabriel and DJ Augustin were unable to make up for the poor production from the starters.

This was a performance that hopefully showed the rest of the basketball world that Toronto is not to be trifled with. It also proved that the Lakers have completely tuned Vogel out and are counting the days until the season ends.

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors tore apart Frank Vogel.

The red-hot Barnes ended the quarter with 15 points on 7-8 shooting, including a couple of 3-pointers. Pascal Siakam chipped in with seven points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Barnes, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. all ended the quarter at +24.

Conversely, Los Angeles couldn’t buy a bucket. The Lakers shot an improbable 3-25 from the field and 0-13 from 3-point range. Only Avery Bradley scored more than two points in his quarter. This performance is so bad that Rob Pelinka might need to consider a coaching change. 

Vogel can’t lean on injuries to excuse his way out of this one. While Anthony Davis was out and James was clearly playing hurt, a team playing two future Hall of Famers in LeBron and Russell Westbrook should not instantly go down by 20 points at home to a squad giving Khem Birch meaningful rotation minutes.

It’s getting even harder to see a situation where Vogel is the coach of this team next season. There is a strong possibility that Vogel’s performance over the last few weeks, capped off by Barnes coming into what used to be the Staples Center and blitzing the Lakers into oblivion, ends his tenure in Los Angeles.

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