With Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook sitting out at least two games apiece so far this preseason, the Lakers have yet to get an extended look at their three stars together. The trio was available in the first preseason contest last Monday, but Davis missed the next two before returning on Sunday, while James and Westbrook have rested for the last two games.
Injuries often prevented Davis, James, and Westbrook from sharing the court last season, but head coach Darvin Ham isn’t worried about his stars not getting enough time together before opening night. As Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times writes, Ham said that the team is sticking to its plan and that the rotations in the final two games of the preseason will look more like what we should expect in the regular season.
Davis, who was dealing with some lower back tightness last week, looked good in his return on Sunday vs. Golden State, pouring in 28 points in 21 minutes en route to a 124-121 win. As Woike observes, it was the Lakers’ first preseason victory since 2020.
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- Within the same story, Woike notes that Troy Brown, signed as a free agent in July, is unlikely to be available for the start of the regular season due to a back injury. “He’s right on schedule with what he’s supposed to be doing,” Ham said. “When we do get him back…we’re excited about him. He was having a great summer before he hurt his back.”
- Camp invitee Matt Ryan had a big game for the Lakers on Sunday, knocking down six three-pointers and scoring 20 points. “He may have gotten himself a job today,” Ham said after the game (Twitter link via Woike).
- As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets, the Lakers have 12 players on standard guaranteed contracts, and Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel look like safe bets to make the team on non-guaranteed deals. That would leave the 15th regular season roster spot available for Ryan, assuming L.A. is willing to increase its projected tax bill by carrying a 15th man to start the regular season.