August 4, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

LeBron James and Anthony Davis to play for Lakers vs. Suns

The Lakers will get a full view of all the talent they possess when LeBron James and Anthony Davis take the court with their teammates for the first time this preseason.

The plan, coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday on a videoconference, is for James and Davis to play “some first-half minutes” Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns “just to kind of get their feet wet.”

With James and Davis sitting on the bench during the Lakers’ two wins against the Clippers over the weekend, James was impressed by what he saw and wants to seamlessly fit in during the final exhibition games Wednesday and Friday in Phoenix.

“They’ve been sharing the ball, moving the ball, playing at a really good pace, and trying to defend and rebound,” James said. “We just want to pick up back at where we left off in the bubble, but also enhance that with the new guys. I’m going to do the same thing. Whatever it takes for our ballclub to win, I’m going to bring my game. You guys know what my game provides for this ballclub and I’m going to produce that every night.”

James last played Oct. 11, the night the Lakers wrapped up the NBA championship over the Miami Heat and he was chosen the most valuable player of the Finals.

He was the starting point guard then, a role James relished to the point that he led the league in assists at 10.2 per game. But now he has more playmakers to relieve him of some ballhandling duties.

James saw new center Marc Gasol drop five assists Sunday against the Clippers. Gasol, considered one of the best passing big men, averaged 3.3 assists last season in Toronto. Point guard Dennis Schroder, who has averaged 4.6 assists in his career, gives James and the Lakers another option.

“So, if it presents to me to be the primary ballhandler and also try to lead the league in assists or to make sure I am being at the forefront of getting guys involved, then I can take that responsibility every single action,” James said. “If our team doesn’t need that this year, then that’s absolutely fine as well. We can, as you’ve seen through the first two preseason games, being able to facilitate through Marc at that high-post area; it’s going to give us another playmaking [option]. Dennis is going to give us another playmaker. So, it doesn’t matter for me. Whatever the team needs.”

Etc.


Vogel said reserve guard Alex Caruso was “doubtful” for the game because he still has soreness in his hip. Vogel also said that forwards Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok are back with the team and had been “cleared from the health and safety protocols from the league” after missing Sunday night’s game against the Clippers.