After a long summer, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally back on the basketball court. The 2019-2020 team that has been built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis has the potential to be one of the best teams in the league, and they showed why in their preseason debut against the Golden State Warriors.
On this episode of the LN Podcast, host Trevor Lane is joined by ESPN’s Allen Sliwa to break do the game as well as preview what will come next for the purple and gold. First and foremost, they were impressed by the defensive tone that was set early on by the Lakers. Some of that credit goes to guard Avery Bradley, who pestered Stephen Curry full-court on multiple possessions. If he can continue that level of play Bradley could be a useful weapon against some of the league’s best guards, like Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Curry, and more.
Davis was also a revelation, dominating on the inside against a much smaller Warriors team. The combination of Davis and JaVale McGee, who both possess 7’6″ wingspans, created a formidable presence in the paint for Los Angeles. When McGee took a seat, veteran big man Dwight Howard put in solid minutes, finding ways to be effective as a screener and rebounder.
We discuss whether the Lakers should look to switch up their starting lineup to include a different guard like perhaps Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, or Quinn Cook. Coach Frank Vogel has expressed that he will experiment with lineups quite a bit during preseason but given how solid the team looked on defense with Bradley and shooting guard Danny Green joining James, Davis, and McGee, one has to wonder if Vogel simply sticks with what has worked and builds upon success.
Plus, how will guard Quinn Cook fit into the rotation? He didn’t see the floor in the preseason opener due to injury, but Cook’s shooting ability as well as his skill in playing out of the pick and roll could make him an attractive option to run in the second unit. Likewise, Caruso saw success at point guard when he took over after half time, could he play his way into more minutes?
We cap things off by taking a look at what the Lakers need to do as they head to China to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
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