The Los Angeles Lakers will give it another go against the Golden State Warriors, facing off against the Bay Area bombers in Ontario as preseason reaches Game 3. Kobe Bryant has looked great through the first two exhibition games, and is likely to play against the Warriors.
The Lakers have squeezed in one day of practice since the Warriors easily handled them on Thursday. Head coach Byron Scott was upset with his team's effort and was critical of their defense. Klay Thompson scored with ease, putting in a cool 25 points in 24 minutes, draining five of his six three-point attempts. The Lakers' perimeter defense was horrendous, but it will have a shot at redemption.
Jeremy Lin could miss the game after Robert Sacre stepped on his foot and sprained his ankle during practice Saturday. Lin told Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell there is an "outside chance" he plays against the Warriors and will be icing his ankle off and on leading up to the game. Steve Nash practiced Saturday after taking the first game against Golden State off and should be available.
Los Angeles is hurting on the point guard front, as has been the case for the last two seasons. Jordan Clarkson is expected out a week, at least, as he nurses a calf strain he suffered on Thursday. The trio of guards being hurt opens up a chance for Ronnie Price to earn more playing time, though Scott already him on the floor for 26 minutes Thursday.
It's hard to imagine the Lakers were able to make significant enough changes schematically to look like a more cohesive unit, especially on defense. If effort was the problem, though, there's reason to believe they could put on a better show this time around. Keep an eye on Julius Randle, who owned up to making "rookie mistakes" after Scott said he looked lost during his second game with the Lakers. Every game is a learning experience for the Lakers' high-profile rookie, and he has a chance to respond to the criticism he accepted by playing better, for longer, in his third game in purple and gold.
Preseason is all about progress and process. Let's see what this squad shows us as they near the halfway point of exhibition play.