Frank Vogel explains why Lakers changed lineup vs. Rockets

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The Los Angeles Lakers changed the starting lineup against the Houston Rockets Sunday.

The usual five thus far have been Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and DeAndre Jordan, but head coach Frank Vogel swapped Jordan for Avery Bradley against Houston.

Bradley, who Vogel credited in the win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, started at shooting guard while Bazemore, James and Davis moved up a position.

Vogel explained after the game why the team made the switch.

“We decided yesterday, we’ve been talking about certain points in the season to explore our roster flexibility, and the way Houston plays, it seemed like a good opportunity to just look at that,” Vogel said.

He added details about why the Lakers wanted to experiment with something new.

“I also liked the way we finished the fourth quarter against Cleveland having Baze and Avery out there guarding the other two team’s best perimeter players and AD at the five,” Vogel said. “It’s just something we want to look at as a starting group. One of those guys would be the backup center, either DJ (DeAndre Jordan) or Dwight (Howard). Dwight being scratched, we used DJ. He was great and glad we got the win.”

The Lakers immediately reaped the benefits of the smaller five as the spacing was greatly improved with more shooters than big men operating in close quarters.

Bradley, unfortunately, couldn’t hit his 3-pointers on the night, but his defensive acumen continues to be on point. His play will make it tough for Vogel to keep him out of the rotation when Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker return.

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