Lakers Notes: James, Bradley, Westbrook, Defense

LeBron James isn’t a fan of load management and believes he’s better off playing heavy minutes, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes. James missed 26 games last season due to a high ankle sprain. “I don’t play the game thinking about injuries,” James said. “And I also feel worse when I play low minutes.”

Coach Frank Vogel said that he still plans to give James some nights off this season.

“Obviously, it’s probably don’t want to have him play 82 games,” Vogel said. “But we’re not going to pre-script X amount of nights off. We’re going to take it as it comes throughout the year.”

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Avery Bradley didn’t participate in the Orlando bubble in 2020 in his last stint with the Lakers. There are no hard feelings lingering from that decision now that Bradley is back in a Lakers uniform, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. “We’re welcoming him back with open arms,” Vogel said. The Lakers claimed Bradley off waivers from the Warriors on Monday.
  • Russell Westbrook made an ugly Lakers debut in their loss to Golden State on Tuesday, contributing just eight points on 4-for-13 shooting while making four turnovers. His superstar teammates don’t want Westbrook to dwell on his disappointing opening-night performance, McMenamin relays in a separate story. “We said some things to him, and he smiled and things like that, so I expect him to be better in the game Friday,” Anthony Davis said.
  • Not only will it take time for Westbrook to build chemistry with the team’s other stars but the rotation members will also need time to develop at the defensive end, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today notes. Zillgitt points out that three of the team’s best defenders are gone, either via the Westbrook trade or free agency.
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