The Los Angeles Lakers had a debut game to remember as they dominated the Golden State Warriors, 123-101.
The circumstances surrounding Vogel’s hire came under a lot of criticism, but the returns — at least initially — are excellent.
The Lakers already seem to be taking on Vogel’s trademark defense with Avery Bradley leading the way and Davis and JaVale McGee patrolling the paint. Offensively, James and Davis showed chemistry that seemed far ahead of where anyone would expect in their first game together.
Vogel sounded satisfied with what the Lakers showed in their first preseason game but knows it is a long road. Speaking after the win, Vogel said he was excited about what the Lakers can ultimately become and heaped praise on his team, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m excited about what we can be. We got a little bit of a taste of it tonight, just seeing what our length looks like on the defensive end and on the glass. What two elite quarterbacks in Rajon Rondo and LeBron James look like with shooters around them. And just a beast of a scorer in A.D. with those guys setting him up and him just being able to deliver and also impact the game on the other end. And I was proud of our young guys, played really well in the second half too.”
Davis was definitely the standout of the night with 22 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes. He was the recipient of multiple assists from both James and Rondo and also dominated the offensive glass, cleaning up after the team’s misses.
The defensive end also brings about plenty of room for optimism. As Vogel noted, the team’s length on that end was overbearing to the undersized Warriors team.
Bradley set the tone on the perimeter, but Danny Green and Alex Caruso showed what they can bring as well. With McGee, Davis, and Dwight Howard in the paint, the opposition always has a rim protector to watch out for.
The young players also showed their worth as the likes of Caruso, Troy Daniels, and Devontae Cacok helped the reserves push the team’s lead out even further. In the end, Vogel saw plenty of things for the Lakers to build upon and what they ultimately can become is one of the best teams in the NBA.