After a longer than expected layoff, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally back in Staples Center for their first taste of preseason action against the co-favorite for the 2022 NBA Championship in the Brooklyn Nets.
The Lakers have a completely new roster outside of the pillars of LeBron James and Anthony Davis and head coach Frank Vogel will have his hands full trying to see which lineups perform well. However, Vogel has already announced that James will be held out of the game alongside Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Trevor Ariza, which means the team’s younger players will get a chance to shine.
While fans will unfortunately have to miss out on seeing James and Westbrook together, Vogel did add that Anthony Davis is expected to play the first quarter. Who joins him in the starting lineup may ultimately come down to a game-time decision, but a good first guess would be Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan.
On the Nets side of things, head coach Steve Nash announced that Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, Blake Griffin and James Johnson all won’t be playing as well, paving the way for their own stable of prospects to see extended playing time.
The first preseason game for teams is normally sloppy as they have only been in training camp for about a week, so expectations are not very high. However, the game could offer a window into how the Lakers’ offense looks after adding several shooters in free agency. Aside from scoring, it will also be interesting to see how well the defense holds up after the team lost several of their best defensive players.
Ultimately, the main goal for the game will be to get most of the rotation some run and help Vogel make more informed decisions as to who will deserve more minutes during the 2021-22 season. It will be exciting to see the Purple and Gold suit up, and hopefully fans find even more reason to be optimistic about the team’s title chances.
Lakers (0-0) vs. Nets(0-0)
12:30 p.m. PT, Oct. 3, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: NBATV, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Talen Horton-Tucker
SG: Kendrick Nunn
SF: Kent Bazemore
PF: Anthony Davis
C: DeAndre Jordan
Key Reserves: Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Austin Reaves
Projected Kings Starting Lineup:
PG: Jevon Carter
SG: Cam Thomas
SF: Bruce Brown Jr.
PF: Paul Millsap
C: LaMarcus Aldridge
Key Reserves: Nicolas Claxton, DeAndre’ Bembry, Devontae Cacok, Sekou Doumbouya
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