After sitting out the first two games of the preseason, Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are expected to finally make their highly anticipated debuts against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
The primary draw here is Westbrook, who will make his first appearance sporting the Purple and Gold and it should be electric to see him take the floor. Much has been made about the Lakers creating more transition opportunities, and Westbrook’s ability to rebound and ignite the break should be a boost in that regard.
James also makes his return to the lineup, though it remains to be seen how much he will play. Lakers fans will have to wait to see the team’s new big three together though as Anthony Davis will sit out his first game of the preseason to rest, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will make their preseason debut tonight vs. GSW, sources tell ESPN. But the Lakers will still wait to unveil their new Big 3 – Anthony Davis will rest tonight
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 8, 2021
With the news of Trevor Ariza undergoing surgery on his injured ankle, it will be interesting to see how Vogel fills out his rotation. Carmelo Anthony is likely to see a lot of minutes at power forward, but outside of him, the Lakers don’t really have many bigger-body perimeter players.
While the Lakers have struggled through the first two games, the Warriors have won both their contests with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green looking like they are already in midseason form. Continuity and a clear identity work heavily in Golden State’s favor and Los Angeles could be in for another long night considering they are still in the process of gelling as a unit.
Even though it is only preseason, there should be extra energy in Chase Center considering it was not long ago that these two teams surprisingly met in the Play-In Tournament last season. The Lakers, of course, narrowly won that matchup, so it stands to reason that the Warriors will be looking to make an early statement before the regular season when these teams will again match up on Opening Night.
Lakers (0-2) vs. Warriors (2-0)
7:00 p.m. PT, Oct. 8, 2021
Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: NBATV, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Kent Bazemore
SF: LeBron James
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: DeAndre Jordan
Key Reserves: Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Jordan Poole
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney
Key Reserves: Otto Porter Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson, Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee, Jonathan Kuminga
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!