Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel acknowledged he will have to bring his big men back when they take on Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals.
The likes of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard were under utilized in the Lakers' second-round playoffs showdown with the Houston Rockets, but Vogel believes this might not work with the Nuggets which has Jokic.
Game 1 is on Friday (US time).
" 'Joker' (Jokic) is one of the most unique players in the world, and one of the most unique players ever to play the center position in this league," Vogel said in an article posted on ESPN.com.
"He can basically hurt you in all ways. He can hurt you at the 3-point line, in the pocket, playing the 4-on-3 game in the post, and obviously with his passing."
The Lakers dominated the Rockets 4-1, thanks to a smaller lineup featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Danny Green, Markieff Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The Nuggets, for their part, went the full route, stunning the Kawhi Leonard powered LA Clippers in 7 games.
Jokic had a lot to do with it, as the versatile big man averaged 25.4 points on 51.5% shooting to go with 10.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in the playoffs.
This means the Lakers will have to take a different approach in facing the Nuggets.
"It does make this series a little different -- a lot different, actually -- in terms of how much we'll use our centers. I don't want to get too much into detail, but obviously we're going to be the LA Lakers, who we've been all year. We adjusted to a small-ball team last series, but I would expect us to return to form," said Vogel.