After putting on a show against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will rest when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Warriors in the team’s preseason finale on Friday, head coach Frank Vogel announced after practice on Thursday.
James and Davis will end the preseason having averaged a combined 27.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 10.1 assists in 20.3 minutes per game. As impressive as that is, James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game on his own last season. Meanwhile, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game with the New Orleans Pelicans last season.
In other words, they’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, and Wednesday’s “dress rehearsal” against the Warriors was a sign of that.
With James and Davis on the inactive list for Friday’s matchup with the Warriors, expect head coach Frank Vogel to start Jared Dudley at the 4. It’s also likely that Vogel will once again start three guards because of the Lakers’ lack of depth at both forward spots.
Quinn Cook was a bright spot for the Lakers in their win over the Warriors on Wednesday, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got the starting nod. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is another route Vogel could go because of his defensive versatility, but he’s struggled offensively, shooting 38.6% from the field through five preseason contents.
The Lakers and Warriors will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. PST on NBA TV nationally and Spectrum SportsNet locally. After that, every game will count in the wins and losses column. And as long as James and Davis are healthy, the Lakers should have more wins than losses this season.