Upon the Los Angeles Lakers signing LeBron James and other veterans in free agency, much of the conversation shifted to how the new-look roster matched up with back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors.
Having played in four consecutive NBA Finals, the Warriors added to their roster by signing DeMarcus Cousins. On Wednesday night, the Lakers and Warriors will get an early look at one another in a preseason game that has more buzz than a typical exhibition contest.
Along with it being the first time the teams are meeting — they’ll play again Friday — the game taking place in Las Vegas has added to aura of i. There’s also the element of the longstanding history James has with the Warriors.
Of course, those clashes came in the NBA Finals, a setting that differs greatly from a preseason game, Las Vegas or not. “It’s just preseason,” James said of the matchup.
“It’s just another game. I don’t think what we do, what they show, will be the teams that we’ll be come January, February, March, April.”
Another layer to the first of back-to-back games between the Lakers and Warriors is that Lonzo Ball makes his return to the court for the first time since undergoing offseason knee surgery. The game is Ball’s first since late March.
“He’s looking pretty good,” James said of Ball. “I told you guys since he’s been on the floor, it doesn’t seem like he’s had anything with his knee.”
Lakers head coach Luke Walton suggested James might play more than the 15 minutes he’s averaged thus far in preseason, while Ball estimated he’ll log roughly 20 minutes off the bench.
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