After a long – albeit exciting – offseason, the Lakers are finally back in action as they take on the Golden State Warriors in their preseason debut. This is the first of four preseason matchups between Lakers and Warriors, who should be fairly comfortable with one another once the regular season kicks off.
The Warriors offer a bit of a different look this season compared to years past. Kevin Durant opted to head east to Brooklyn while Klay Thompson is expected to miss most of the season recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the 2019 Finals. To help stem the bleeding, the Warriors went out and made a move for D’Angelo Russell. Russell played in a similar scheme on the Nets and while his usage will likely dip, he could prove to be a more efficient scorer due to defenses needing to focus on Curry.
Lakers Preseason Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Warriors
Lineup Courtesy of Mike Trudell
LeBron James & Anthony Davis Set to Make Preseason Debuts
The long-awaited on-court debut of the James-Davis pairing is finally upon us. While the two may look a bit clunky playing alongside one another to start, the fact remains that they both pose a significant matchup advantage any time they take the court. While a win would be nice, the most important thing this evening is starting to build true in-game chemistry between the two superstars. Expect plenty of James-Davis pick and roll sets while the two are on the court as the two work to get their timing and feel down during game situations.
Both James and Davis are coming off seasons that were cut short for “injury” purposes. While James did suffer a groin injury and missed considerable time, the Lakers wound up shutting him down at the end of the season in order to conserve his health and energy. Similarly, once Anthony Davis made his intentions to be traded clear and had a scare with a shoulder injury in February, he found himself mostly shut down as well. Should their health hold up this season, expect both men to re-insert themselves back into the discussion for the game’s best player.
Aside from James and Davis, training camp hero Avery Bradley makes his preseason debut tonight as well. Once considered arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, Bradley is coming off a few tough seasons that saw him struggle with schematic fits while dealing with injuries. Now with a fully healthy offseason under his belt and nearly 40 pounds lighter, Bradley looks to be in some of the best shape of his career and is poised for a major bounceback season. Drawing the start in his first Lakers game, if he can prove to Frank Vogel that he’s back to his old ways, it becomes nearly impossible for the Lakers to not find a permanent spot for him at a starting guard spot.