Magic Coach Frank Vogel has this in common with Lakers Coach Luke Walton: they've both taken aspects of Phil Jackson's coaching style into their own.
It's part of why Vogel wanted Brian Shaw, now the Lakers associate head coach, on his staff when he coached the Indiana Pacers. Shaw played for Jackson with the Lakers and also was part of Jackson's staff after he retired as a player.
"It was almost a daily," Vogel said of when he sought Shaw's counsel. "'How did Phil do it? How did Phil do this? How did Phil do that?'"
Sometimes when Vogel wasn't sure whether or not to rest a player, he sought Jackson's philosophy. Or if he needed help on how to run shoot-around the day before games. Or any one of the dozens of decisions head coaches make every day.
More than anything, learning about Jackson's demeanor gave Vogel evidence that his own could work.
"I think there's a lot of coaches that can be high strung and I'm not high strung," Vogel said. "The fact that Phil wasn't high strung. There's a lot of talk about his Zen and all that stuff, but calm mental adjustment, I think there's great value in. I like to think my personality is more that way than the raging, yell-at-everybody type of coach. I drew confidence that that type of approach works."
Randle a dad
Julius Randle was not able to return for the final game of the Lakers' long December road trip.
His fiancée, Kendra Shaw, gave birth to the couple's first child Friday morning. The boy, Kyden Randle, weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 21 inches long.
"I've been texting with him since last night, checking in," Walton said of Randle before Friday's game. "He said he'll be watching from home, wishing he was with us. But he's got some family priorities. We're all thrilled for him and we'll see him back in L.A."
Shaw was due next week, but Randle has been on baby watch throughout the Lakers 12-day, seven-game road trip. After his team flew from Cleveland to Charlotte for what would be three days in the city, Randle flew home to Los Angeles to be with his fiancée. He spent Sunday and Monday with Shaw before taking a red-eye flight back to Charlotte in time for the Lakers' Tuesday game against the Hornets.
Although he did not play, Lakers reserve point guard Jose Calderon went through a pregame warmup at the Amway Center in Orlando.
Calderon told Walton he is close to being able to return. He suffered a strained right hamstring on Dec. 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers were without Larry Nance Jr., who suffered a bone bruise in his knee against the Hornets on Tuesday. Nance had an MRI exam on Wednesday in Miami, but it was inconclusive due to the swelling in his knee. He will have an MRI exam on Sunday with the hope the swelling will have subsided enough for a proper diagnosis.