Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James is set to make his 2020-21 preseason debut on Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.
James sat out the first two preseason games against the L.A. Clippers, but the Lakers still went 2-0 in those matchups.
Led by Talen Horton-Tucker, the Lakers focused on ball movement and defense against a close to full strength Clippers team. As L.A. now looks towards the Suns — a team that presents a new set of challenges — they’ll have James and Anthony Davis back in the fold.
While James brings an entirely unique skillset with him, he still plans on continuing the game plan from the first two games to do whatever it takes to continue winning. “If it’s [Wednesday] in Phoenix, or if it’s Friday, I want to continue what the ballclub has been doing,” James said.
“They’ve been sharing the ball, moving the ball, playing at a really good pace, trying to defend and rebound. We just want to pick up where we left off in the bubble but also enhance that with the new guys. I’m going to do the same thing: whatever it takes for our ballclub to win.
“I’m going to bring my game. You guys know what my game provides for this ballclub, and I’m going to produce that every night.”
Considering preseason games do not matter in any real way, it’s unlikely James and Davis will come in and play big minutes or shoulder too heavy of a load. Instead, they’ll play likely in just the first half — at least on Wednesday — and play a brand of team basketball that has helped them get to 2-0.
With only two preseason games left and just under a week before the beginning of the regular season, there’s no reason for James to put his full effort and attention into taking games over.
Frank Vogel believes James and Davis will be in game shape by season opener
While James and Davis will both be in action on Wednesday night, head coach Frank Vogel does not think they would be ready for a regular season game just yet. However, he’s confident they’ll be ready to go by Opening Night on Dec. 22.
“We’ve been trying to strike that balance of easing them in while at the same time making sure they get enough work to be ready for the regular season,” Vogel added.
“I think they both look really good. They’re probably not ready to play in a regular season game today but they’re both in pretty good shape and are going to continue to build up to the start of the season.”
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