After completing training camp this past week, the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to San Francisco for a matchup with the Golden State Warriors in their new Chase Center home. Much of the anticipation centered around the new arena opening as well as Anthony Davis making his Lakers debut.
However, there additionally was intrigue over how head coach Frank Vogel would set his lineup around Davis and LeBron James. He experimented with various combinations during practices and scrimmages, with some of that because of injuries to Jared Dudley and Kyle Kuzma.
Vogel reiterated there will be new lineups throughout the exhibition schedule and perhaps even into the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, but indicated Bradley could be one of the fixtures because of his defensive presence, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“We’re going to mix it up every night throughout the preseason and potentially into the season. Other guys will have opportunities to start. The preseason is just about combinations. Avery has set a tone on the defensive end and one of the things we’re considering throughout the year is when we have an elite guard that we’re going against, we want Avery Bradley out there for that initial matchup.”
Bradley earned plenty of praise from not only Vogel and his coaching staff, but Davis and James, among others, during training camp. Rajon Rondo specifically told Bradley to defend him during scrimmages so both players could use the competition to improve.
“I’ve seen Avery play defense from afar, but to see it every day, the way he gets after it and competes, it’s pretty special. He can really guard the ball,” Davis said. “Coach said if you’ve got the ball, just pass it. He’s very special on the defensive end.”
Bradley is coming off a resurgent season with the Memphis Grizzlies and identified one of his goals with the Lakers is to establish himself as a top defender in the league. Whether starting or coming off the bench, Bradley figures to factor heavily into how strong of a defensive team the Lakers will be.