The Los Angeles Lakers look for their second preseason victory as they head to Las Vegas to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
After a disappointing loss to the Clippers over the weekend, the Lakers appear to be more healthy and ready to make the adjustments they need. LeBron James is back from receiving a game off for rest, and Lonzo Ball makes his long-awaited return from offseason knee surgery.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said James might play more than the 15 minutes he has averaged thus far in preseason, while Ball is expected to play around 20 minutes off the bench.
He’s looking forward to not only playing in a game for the first time in over five months, but also helping stabilize a Lakers second unit that’s struggled at times.
In other injury news, Josh Hart is a game-time decision due to a tight hamstring. He was removed from practice on Monday, held out of Tuesday’s session, but did participate in shootaround on Wednesday. Lakers head coach Luke Walton has proven time and time again that he does not like to take risks, even with the most minor of injuries.
With this, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely get the starting job at shooting guard, and has a lot to prove after a somewhat disappointing first few games. Although many penciled in Caldwell-Pope as the likely starter from the beginning, Hart has made an excellent case. Wednesday will be a great chance for Caldwell-Pope to prove he should be the starter.
There is still plenty of improvement to be made, as is always the case with new teams, but the Lakers matching up against a top team in the league will be essential in seeing what they can do in the early going.
Due to the Warriors style of play, it is likely we see Walton toying with several different small-ball lineups, meaning Kyle Kuzma will probably be seeing some minutes at the center position.
The Lakers will also continue their battle to shore up their defense before the season starts. The Warriors in the preseason will serve as a good litmus test on that end.
Los Angeles Lakers (1-3) Vs Golden State Warriors (1-2)
7:30 P.M. PT, Oct. 10, 2018
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: LeBron James
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Jordan Bell
C: Damian Jones
Key Reserves: Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, Jonas Jerebko, Jordan Bell