Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both expected to be back on the court after a game off when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors for the third time out of four during the 2019 NBA preseason
The Lakers have had sort of a mixed bag start to the preseason. With both teams at full strength, the Lakers dominated the Warriors in the first matchup between the two. Then the Lakers went to China where they dropped back-to-back games against the Brooklyn Nets. Once they returned to the United States, they let their G League team and role players take over for another big victory against the Warriors.
In the second game against the Nets, Davis sprained his right thumb, causing him to miss Monday night’s win over the Warriors. This led to a domino effect of every major player for both teams (except Stephen Curry) deciding to take the game off and return on Wednesday night for another big game.
In the meantime, Davis’ MRI on his thumb came back completely clean, meaning he would immediately be cleared to return to action if he so chose to. Of course, wanting more time to play with James before the start of the season, Davis decided he should be fine to play.
In other injury news, Kyle Kuzma was cleared to begin non-contact practice, meaning there’s a chance he’ll be ready for Opening Night against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
The Lakers, in addition to Kuzma, will likely sit Talen Horton-Tucker, Troy Daniels, and Quinn Cook as they all recover from minor injuries of their own.
On the Warriors front, the players sitting will likely be Alec Burks, Kevon Looney, and Stephen Curry, who was announced as day-to-day after Tuesday’s practice. This means D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green should be back in the lineup.
As is the case with every other preseason game, the All-Star players are unlikely to see a significant amount of minutes, as there’s no point risking anything if the games have no real meaning. As long as it feels like Davis and James are building chemistry with each other and important role players, then playing them only 18-20 minutes a night feels like a good amount.
For the fans’ sake, having James and Davis back with a chance to go 3-0 against the Warriors in the preseason would be a big thing. But otherwise, this is about keeping everyone healthy while getting some game-level reps.
Los Angeles Lakers (2-2) vs. Golden State Warriors (1-2)
7:30 P.M. PT, Oct. 16, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Kenatvious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Jared Dudley
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Jordan Poole
SF: Alfonzo McKinnie
PF: Draymond Green
C: Marquese Chriss
Key Reserves: Eric Paschall, Jacob Evans, Glenn Robinson III, Damion Lee