Hello Lakers Nation.
Trevor Lane, Here's senior writer for lakers nation dot com.
Today we're previewing Lakers versus Nets, Game two of preseason action.
I want to go over three things that I think you should keep an eye on.
Assuming this game happens, which we're not 100% sure that it will.
We'll talk about that in just a moment.
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Okay, So first and foremost before I dive into our three big things that we didn't keep an eye on during this preseason game, uh, we need to talk about whether out this game is really gonna happen, because right now, we don't know.
Right now, we know that China has decided to stop some of the events that were occurring.
There was an NBC Cares event.
The team hasn't been speaking to the media.
There was press availability that was scheduled.
That guy canceled a CZ.
Well, we also know that the banners advertising the game got torn down off of the building.
So that's obviously not a good sign.
That doesn't suggest that the game is likely to take place.
And I know a lot of fans have been messaging me on Twitter, saying, Forget it.
Cancel the game.
Just get the guys out of there, get them home, get them out of china before anything gets any worse.
Uh, obviously, this all stems from Darryl Morris tweet in support of Hong Kong, and then the NBA's response to that China felt like they weren't being severe enough and how they were approaching the situation they wanted to see.
Ah, Swift and punitive effort tossed it at Mori.
But yeah, this is This is a big mess.
The NBA's kind of caught in the middle of two opposing strains of thought, and so we'll see what winds up happening here right now.
Again, it sounds more like the games may not happen.
But again, who knows? Right now, it's The MBA has decided to leave the ball in China's court, so to speak.
They're gonna let them decide whether or not the games go forward.
They're continuing on as though the games are gonna happen.
At least that's where we are right now.
On Wednesday afternoon with the game, Uh, what, just about 14 hours away or so from right now? So that's where we're at.
Will it happen? I don't know.
I'd like to see the Lakers play it like to see them play the Nets.
If not, hopefully if they don't play in China, hopefully they can reschedule the games for in the United States.
But we'll see at this point, though, since we're still waiting on China, we don't know for sure whether or not the game's gonna go down.
I'm not going away anymore.
I need to go over what's gonna happen in these games and what we need to be looking for in these games.
So there's three things assuming the game actually goes down.
Three things that I want to see you guys keeping an eye on.
Oh, and by the way, if the game does happen, Tanya Ganguli of the L.
Times and Rachel Nichols of ESPN both reported that fans who were actually waiting for the team's waiting for the Lakers.
Usually they'd show up to tons and tons of people waiting for them.
But the dozens of people have actually showed up, shielded their faces from the cameras because they didn't want to be associated with the N B A out of fear for some sort of reprisal in most likely or whether they thought it was unpatriotic or whatever in order to do that.
So my question is, will anyone actually be in attendance in the crowd if the game goes down so It could be a little bit of an eerie atmosphere if there's if the game does happen and then a lot of fans don't show up something to keep an eye on.
But three things for you guys to watch in the game itself.
This has been my main focus of preseason.
Yes, I want to see Anthony Davis play LeBron James.
Play all these key players.
I want to see them get out there and perform at a high level on all that.
We have been starving for Lakers basketball all summer.
I want them to stay healthy.
What we saw the way last season win this summer has already gotten off to a bumpy start, losing to Marcus Cousins, likely for the season to an a c L losing cow Kuzma, Possibly for the beginning of the regular season.
Something to keep an eye on guys.
How healthy can the Lakers stain during preseason? And by that I mean load.
Manage the heck out of this game.
Load managed all these games, all these preseason games they don't count.
Yes, use your time to build some chemistry.
Get the guys out there for a little bit, but I don't want to see them taking any unnecessary risks with guys like LeBron like Anthony Davis.
Keep everybody healthy, get through preseason unscathed.
I think that should be priority one above everything else of something keep an eye on.
Is everyone able to stay healthy? And how are those minutes being managed again? We all want to see Anthony Davis out that we're all excited to see what you can do.
He was incredible against the Golden State Warriors, but I I certainly hope that these guys are playing very minor minutes and keeping themselves healthy.
Second thing I want everybody to keep an eye on is the rotation.
This is the time of year win.
Coaches get to experiment.
This is the time of year when coaches get to put together weird lineups and see what sticks.
You can play around with different things because again, these games aren't gonna hurt your record.
Frank Vogel is new to the Lakers.
She's only coach one preseason game, and that's it.
So, as analysts were still trying to figure out what Frank Vogel style is going to be, it appears to be very defense heavy.
Which makes sense goes right along with what we've heard heading through training camp and even before that.
And, of course, going back to Frank Vogel's days with the Indiana Pacers, she was known as the defensive coach.
So everything we've heard is that he's going to be a very defense first coach.
But we wanted to get an idea of what his schemes they're going to be.
And then what? His what? His offense is gonna look like a cZ well, and this is gonna be vocals, chance to start tinkering with the rotations and putting together the guys that he thinks are going to be able to execute his plan best.
So last game, it was a little bit of a surprise, but Vogel started Avery Bradley, Danny Green, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee.
And the surprise there was Avery Bradley.
There was some sense that maybe be Rajon Rondo in the starting lineup, maybe even Alex Caruso for someone like that.
But when very defensive, which again? Vogel fits right in line with who he is.
What very defensive Avery Bradley started in the back court for the Lakers.
Technically of LeBron James was the point guard, or at least played that initiate a role, whereas Avery Bradley was used to pester Kyrie are Ah, Steph Curry.
I am curious if you can.
If he keeps it the same, Do you put Avery Bradley on Kyrie Irving? I loved what Avery Bradley did against Steph Curry, who's pressuring him full court.
He was his shadow following everywhere.
The Lakers haven't had a defender that could do that in a long, long time.
So I'm curious to see if they do the same thing dealing with Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.
Do you put Avery Bradley on him and see what you've got? If Avery Bradley could be the type of elite defender that the Lakers are hoping he can, he could be a huge help dealing with Some of these really high caliber guards were talking.
Irving, we're talking curry.
We're talking Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook players of that caliber.
You can use Avery Bradley in that role, so I'm curious to see if he draws the start.
And, if not, do they turn to an Alex Caruso, who played pretty well in the second half of the game against the Warriors.
Does Raj on Rondo get the nod? His veteran status being out there? And he had some solid plays, knocked in a couple of threes.
We had heard a lot about how his three point shooting had improved during training camp.
So does Rondo get an opportunity to start? We know coaches like to make things mix things up.
They're not going to stick with any particular starting lineup.
Who knows Danny Green? Maybe he doesn't start.
I'd have to imagine the only locks to start would be LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Should the game again take place.
And then, outside of that, maybe Dwight Howard winds up starting at the five.
We could see like a contagious Caldwell Pope.
Get in there at shooting guard.
Something like that.
Be prepared for changes, but keep an eye on how Vogel rotates things and which lineups fit best.
I thought in the last game the Rondo and LeBron pairings were a little bit messy, but Rondo and Anthony Davis worked okay.
I liked Avery Bradley out there alongside Danny Green, doubling up on those perimeter defenders and using that alongside JaVale, who is really great inside defensively, along with Anthony Davis.
You double up with those two really tall defenders on the inside, plus two pesky perimeter players on the outside of LeBron is just out.
He's somebody that stuff to deal with as well.
I thought that made for a really potent defensive first grouping, so really curious to see the combos that he puts together keep an eye on those rotations of what kind of success they have, because that's what's gonna give us a hint for what voters looking at in the regular season and lasting the defense.
Overall, I'm not talking about how successful they are.
I'm talking about the intensity we see on the defensive end.
There has already been a ton of talk about what the Lakers are going to be in terms of their defense of identity and how it's going to require a lot of players to buy in.
Anthony Davis, for example, not talking about winning M v p even though if he plays the way you did against the Warriors, he could be a legit M V P candidate this season.
But he's talking about winning defensive player of the year.
That's his focus, and he wants to spread that to the rest of the team.
He says he's gonna hold other players accountable.
Avery Bradley has that same defense first mindset.
And again, a lot of that's gonna be coming from Frank Vogel coming from the top down.
So what does the defensive intensity look like? Obviously, a lot of distraction swirling right now, with all the all the stuff going on with China.
That's a distraction.
Travelling so far, that's a distraction.
Okay, being in an unfamiliar environment, all of these things, Perhaps there's no fans in the arena.
That's a possibility.
With all of those things, can the Lakers still walk in defensively and show the kind of intensity that they did in Game one? It's going to be really important because so much of the defensive side of the game is up here.
It's in their head, so you've got to be locked in and you've got to be providing that energy from the get go.
I think that's gonna be really important and something I'm gonna be keeping an eye on.
Are the Lakers making the extra effort on the defensive end because that is the type of thing that you do want to see right now? No, you don't want to see necessarily LeBron James crashing to the floor to save a ball that's going out of bounds or anything like that.
You don't want to see Anthony Davis spinning off of a guy and getting crushed and knocked to the floor.
Those kind of things make us hold our breath, but I'm talking about making the extra rotation.
I'm talking about talking, communicating while you're out on the floor.
I want to see JaVale McGee calling out screen.
Same thing with Dwight Howard.
I want to see Avery Bradley getting out to everybody being a pest, deflecting passes, shooting into passing lanes.
Same thing with Danny Green.
I want to see what kind of a defensive job these guys can do against the Nets team.
That should be fairly potent.
Offensively, they've got shooters and Joe Harris.
They've got obviously Kyrie Irving conduce, Um, great things out there on.
And then, of course, DeAndre Jordan in the middle.
Kevin Durant, obviously not gonna play.
He's probably won't be back this season, but still, the Nets have a very, very solid team.
Let's not forget about guys like Caris, Levert and players like that.
So this should be a challenge for the Lakers.
They should be, um, kind of tested here.
So I'm curious to see what the Lakers defense conduce.
We saw them have success against a Warriors team that they had a big size advantage on.
The Warriors were missing, but their starting center, Kevon Looney and their backup center, and Willie Cauley Stein.
Can their defense still have the same kind of success when you've got a Nets team that has some solid Biggs like DeAndre Jordan like Jared Allen? Players like that that can step in.
Will the Lakers defense still be able to hold up? That's what I'm looking for.
Is the intensity there? And do they have success on that under the floor? Because I think that's going to be their calling card.
This season is just how tough they are on defense.
Okay, guys, make sure that you follow us on.
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We will get we keep you guys updated on whether or not this game is happening.
If it does happen, come join me.
I will all ya before I am game tips at 4 30 AM again, Pacific Time.
If the game's happening, I will be up all be there.
I'll be live tweeting along with it.
I may even hop on here on sportscaster and do some some live conversation with you guys if you're if you're around for it, so again, come join me.
If you want to get up early, grab some up time energy drink and we'll check out some Lakers basketball together.
And don't forget if you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm at Trevor Underscore Lane or on instagram at Trevor Lane and be a till next time guys see you.