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3 Things to Know: Lakers at Warriors (10/5/19)
The wait is over for the #LakeShow!
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers begin their preseason slate against the Golden State Warriors:
1) AD will wear the purple and gold for the first time
For those still pinching themselves, the sight of Anthony Davis stepping onto the hardwood donning the purple and gold will go a long way into letting it sink in for good. The 26-year old superstar will make his unofficial debut Saturday night, hoping to anchor the defense and help lead L.A. back to the promised land.
AD is coming off a season in which he played just 530 minutes, his fewest since 2013-14, so he should be well rested and highly motivated. Davis also proclaimed he wants to “be Defensive Player of the Year”, a feat only achieved by Michael Cooper (1986-87) with this franchise.
On the other end of the floor, all eyes will be on the two-man game with LeBron James – the biggest source of hope for the fans and a potential endless nightmare for the rest of the league. The duo’s first order of business will be to get the Lakers back to the postseason and, once in the dance, attempt to be – in Frank Vogel’s own words – the “last team standing.”
AD & LeBron in the same lineups.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 3, 2019
Avery Bradley stealing the spotlight.
Dwight & JaVale setting the defensive tone. @LakersReporter and @JoeyARamirez break down the biggest storylines from training camp. pic.twitter.com/mc9EBDpF0F
2) New faces…and some old ones too
Saturday’s clash against the Warriors will also serve as a dry-run introduction for many of the team’s summer additions.
Veterans like Avery Bradley, Quin Cook, Danny Green, Troy Daniels and Jared Dudley are all competing for minutes and/or spots in Vogel’s Opening Night rotation, and the battle promises to be one for the ages on a very deep squad. Beside their leadership qualities, the quintet brings a healthy dose of shooting – a crucial improvement for a team that shot 33.3% from beyond the arc last season.
James is expected to play, though Vogel cautioned that it won’t be “a ton of minutes." The Lakers are also returning Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, all of whom re-signed this summer. On top of that, Dwight Howard is back with the franchise after playing 76 games in his lone season in L.A. in 2012-13.
Kyle Kuzma is out with a stress reaction in his right foot and will have an MRI after the team returns from it’s two-game stint in China.
3) Team’s new identity under Coach V
Vogel has done a lot of experimenting in the first week of camp, and it’ll be very interesting to see who rounds out the starting five alongside Davis, James, and probably Green. Bradley has received rave reviews from teammates and coaches alike, and has a good shot at earning a spot. Besides him, Rondo, Caruso, and KCP are very clear possibilities to join him.
Defensively, the Lakers will be looking to establish themselves inside the top 10 after back-to-back seasons finishing 13th overall in the NBA. Vogel, best known for the defensive brilliance of his Pacers teams, wants the team to make its presence felt.
“You're coming to play (the) L.A. Lakers, you're going to get hit," Vogel said earlier in camp. "You're going to get smashed in the mouth."
From Division III point guard to Kentucky student-manager to NBA head coach — Frank Vogel knows the grind is the key. https://t.co/GB5fd901dZ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 21, 2019
Lakers:Kyle Kuzma (stress reaction left foot), Talen Horton-Tucker (stress reaction right foot), DeMarcus Cousins (torn left ACL) and Jared Dudley (knee soreness) are out.
Warriors: Klay Thompson (torn left ACL), Willie Cauley-Stein (left mid-foot strain), Kevon Looney (hamstring) and Alen Smailagic (ankle) are out.
Tip-Off: 5 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet in L.A. TNT nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Chase Center — San Francisco, California
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