Fifth loss in as many preseason games for the Lakers, but they can benefit from the return of an already fit James with 17 points
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook for the first time on the field at the same time are not enough for the Lakers to avoid a 5th loss in as many preseason games. It was up to the Warriors without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, not really spoiling the yellow-purple Big Three’s debut thanks to a strong team effort, led by points from Jordan Poole (18) and Otto Porter Jr. (16), two of the most expected players of the race. It ended 111-99 for the Dubs, with the Lakers still far from optimal overall condition.
The return of LeBron James, alongside Davis and Westbrook for the first time, has been unquestionably positive in terms of individual accomplishments. The king was really in excellent physical condition, mentally clear and athletically overwhelmed despite his age, which at least logically should not allow him to do so. While the deal with Westbrook has yet to be built up (if it happens), the one with Davis still works quite efficiently and maybe the Lakers should start there again, at least in the offensive half. LeBron’s numbers are 17 points, 7/16 shots from the field, 6 rebounds, 4 assists (6 turnovers) and 3 steals in 26 ′ at Staples Field. Solid and concrete evidence, in short as Leader, one of the very rare positive signs of this yellow-purple preseason, characterized by a dense and obscure mediocrity in almost every nuance, no matter how small.
The Golden State Warriors impressed positively despite the stamina absences of Steph Curry and Draymond Green and were excited in the transition phase and generally in their offensive basketball proposition. Particularly noteworthy are Jordan Poole, author of 18 points (7/14 shooting), 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 19 ′, and above all Otto Porter, who contributed 16 points and a remarkable 4/8 of the camber from the bench. Coach Steve Kerr’s team had an incredible three-point shot (11/49), but was able to systematically find offensive continuity towards the iron thanks to constant ball deflection and aggression (48 points marked in the area). So everyone promoted the dubs. Besides LeBron James, Anthony Davis (20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks) and Rajon Rondo (6 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists), the latter is only light for the purple and gold in the game creation phase.
Los Angeles has played pretty badly in many ways, a hallmark that unites all of its games this preseason. The very poor communication in defense and the imbalance of pressure on the opponent, too discontinuous and intermittent between the perimeter and the protection of the surface (nonexistent or almost), were overcome almost negatively by the poor defensive transition. It’s preseason, of course, but with this setting, the process of creating and developing team chemistry will take time. In attack, of course, the situation was frozen: everyone stopped waiting for the ball and little understanding between the players, except in the transition. Unsurprisingly, the best actions in LA took place under the leadership of LeBron and Rondo. Westbrook needs to improve (10 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists) but all Lakers as a whole need to do more to produce a basketball that lives up to their ambitions.
The Angels: Davis 20 (7/12, 0/2 of three, 6/9 tl), James 17, Anthony 13. Rebounds: Westbrook 10. Assists: Westbrook 6.
Golden State: Poole 18 (7/14, 2/8 von drei, 2/3 tl), Lee 16, Porter 16. Rebounds: Lee 9. Assists: Iguodala 5.