The Los Angeles Lakers are nearing the start of the 2023-24 regular season, playing their third-to-last preseason game on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. Normally, as the season nears, teams look to have as close to a real regular season rotation as possible. But there were some notable absences on Friday, including point guard Gabe Vincent.
Vincent has already shown himself to be an important member of this year’s Lakers team. He has received praise from teammates and coaches alike for his professionalism and everything that he brings to a team coming from the culture of the Miami Heat.
So an absence from him this early in the year could be cause for concern. However, head coach Darvin Ham explained the absence and assured that it is not q signifier of anything serious.
“He has a little bit of back tightness so it’s precautionary. We want to let it calm down a little bit. When you play deep into June, those things are gonna happen a little bit, those soft tissue issues. But he’s good, he’s good. It’s just something we want to be proactive about to allow him to be 100%.”
The Lakers are playing for a deep postseason run this year and have no reason to believe they’ll have to fight for multiple months just to make the playoffs. With that said, L.A. can afford to be a little more cautious than they had been during the last two regular seasons.
The hope is that Vincent is playing major minutes in big spots in April, May and even June. If he is feeling any soreness at all, there is no need to play him for a preseason game in early October. Hopefully, it is just a precaution and there isn’t anything more serious at play for the young guard.
Lakers day-by-day on managing LeBron James
A player who is going to have more than his fair share of days off during the regular season is superstar LeBron James. He is 38 years old and entering his 21st season, so Ham and the Lakers are barely even hiding the fact that he will take some load management days throughout the campaign.
But they are going to take those conversations day by day and not make any sweeping decisions ahead of time. James is one of the most intelligent athletes in sports when it comes to his health, and he should be able to help dictate the conversation surrounding his workload.
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