Los Angeles, September 29: Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel warned NBA rivals "you're going to get smashed in the mouth" when facing LeBron James and the team.
Following six consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the Lakers head into 2019-20 with huge expectations after acquiring All-Star Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard to join James in Los Angeles.
The Lakers finished their first of two-a-day session on Saturday (September 28), and after, Vogel told reporters the tough play is what other teams can expect when they face the Los Angeles squad.
"You're coming to play [the] L.A. Lakers, you're going to get hit," Vogel said. "You're going to get smashed in the mouth."
Frank Vogel would put LeBron and AD ‘against anybody in the league’ pic.twitter.com/U8VGRifwGi— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 28, 2019
Vogel is entering his first year at the helm after replacing Luke Walton and the Lakers coach is stressing the importance of defence early.
"He's a defensive coach and wants to have a defensive mindset," Davis said. "We're going to be a defensive team. We made sure we covered a lot of defensive schemes today."
Davis – a six-time All-Star – added: "Obviously, you're not going to try to injure anyone or do anything stupid. We know we have to play with physicality. We did a good job doing that today. So in a way, that makes it a lot easier against our opponent."
The Lakers are hoping to improve on their efforts last season, where they finished ranked 13th in defence.
Los Angeles allowed 108.9 points per 100 possessions, but on the other end of the floor, the Lakers were actually worse. The team ranked 24th in offense by scoring 107.4 points per 100 possessions.
"You know we got a lot of firepower offensively," Vogel said. "But establish that defensive mindset of playing hard and playing tenacious and being physical. And on offense, just beginning to get organised and talking about the importance of playing for each other."