Los Angeles Lakers’ Andre Drummond remains a starter despite Marc Gasol’s performance, says Frank Vogel


Marc Gasol might have done his best since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in Tuesday’s 110-101 win over the Toronto Raptors, but Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel has stood his ground: Andre Drummond is the starting center. of the team.

“No, we’re going to initiate Andre. That’s what we hired him here for,” Vogel said. “We need to get [Drummond] plenty of minutes for him to get used to our system with only X amount of games before the playoffs, and he’ll be our starter. … [Gasol’s performance] that doesn’t change. “

Vogel made his comments after being asked if Gasol’s performance on Tuesday gave him anything to reconsider. Gasol had a season-high 13 points and tied his season-highs with nine rebounds and four blocks, helping the Lakers build a 34-point lead.

Gasol, who initially resisted a role change, and told reporters last week that the addition of Drummond was “a hard pill to swallow,” was fully on board with the idea of ​​making room for the incorporation of the market of acquisitions after the Raptors game.

“I’ll stay ready. I’m going to tell you this: I’m totally committed to the team. I’ll be ready when my number is called,” Gasol said. “I understand that we have to acclimate Andre to what we are trying to do. We have to get our two main guys back: Bron [LeBron James] and AD [Anthony Davis] every time they come back, and they have to get that group going and put some chemistry in the first unit for them. I’ll be ready no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, if it’s in any position. If it’s a few nights, he may not play. But I’ll be ready, whatever happens. I made that commitment.

“It’s been a process for me to re-evaluate this situation a bit, but like I said, I’m completely committed to this team. So whatever they throw at me, I’ll be ready.”

Drummond has missed the last three Lakers games since debut due to a bruised big toe and a broken toenail on his right foot. Vogel said Drummond participated in Los Angeles practice in Tampa Bay, Florida, on Monday, but was still feeling some “tenderness” in his toe before the Toronto game.

“We are hopeful that he plays Miami,” Vogel said of Drummond, looking ahead to the Lakers’ next game on the schedule, Thursday against the Heat.

Vogel insisted that “all three guys” – Drummond, Gasol and Montrezl Harrell – that center of play for Los Angeles will be needed as the team moves into the postseason in hopes of defending its championship.

As for Gasol, who has averaged 9.7 points on 60% shooting, 7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 blocks in the last three games that Drummond missed while the Lakers went 2-1, the player 36-year-old reminded us of what he did. has left in the tank.

“You know, I can make a couple of shots. I can play the post. I can pass the ball,” he said. “I can do a couple of things pretty well from time to time.”

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