The Los Angeles Lakers will play their final preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco. This is usually where we’d talk about what’s at stake for both teams, but — if we’re being honest — this game doesn’t actually mean anything, and there are a few reasons for that.
For starters, it’s preseason. This game, and the five games the Lakers have played leading up to this game, have not mattered in the wins and losses column. For the select few fans that were under the impression that the Lakers were 3-2 to start the season, I sincerely apologize.
Additionally, the Lakers have already played the Warriors in the preseason three times and they’ve won all three times. How many times do we need to see Marquese Chriss struggle on defense? Do we really need to see Jordan Poole get crossed up Zach Norvell Jr. again?
That last one was a trick question. Of course we do. In fact, let’s all take a moment to watch the rookie’s ankle-breaker again.
Zach Norvell Jr. had Jordan Poole on all fours and the Lakers bench went WILD pic.twitter.com/s0y5rgcGve— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 15, 2019
Last but not least the two stars — Anthony Davis and LeBron James — will sit out of Friday’s game as they get ready for the Lakers’ regular season opener on Tuesday. The veteran supporting cast will also get some rest, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers are resting LeBron, AD, Dwight, JaVale, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Rondo and Quinn Cook tonight vs GSW per Frank Vogel.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 18, 2019
In other words, fans can expect to see a lot of minutes with lesser known players like Norvell Jr., Devontae Cacok and Marcus Allen, the latter of whom signed a training camp deal with the Lakers on Thursday. There would usually be some appeal to that, but the Lakers already have 14 guaranteed contracts — Dwight Howard’s deal isn’t guaranteed until Jan. 10 — and want to leave a final, 15th guaranteed spot open for the buyout market. Additionally both of their two-way contract spots are filled by Norvell and Kostas Antetokounmpo.
The only thing that matters in this game is both teams leaving healthy. Honestly, it would be a good idea if no one fouled each other. Defense should be optional for both teams on Friday.
If the Lakers and Warriors can leave the Chase Center unscathed, it will be a win for both teams.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. PST on NBA TV nationally, and Spectrum SportsNet locally.
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