At practice on Saturday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said there was only one player on the team that they had for sure decided would not play against the LA Clippers on Sunday: Alex Caruso, who will be held out of the preseason rematch with a hip flexor strain.
As for the rest of the team? Vogel said the Lakers were still deliberating on that.
“We’re still undecided with regard to which guys will play and which guys won’t tomorrow,” Vogel said.
The Lakers were missing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Markieff Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marc Gasol and Jared Dudley against the Clippers on Friday, all of whom sat out without injuries as the team continues to ramp up. As a result — and because they’re already shorthanded for a variety of reasons, including a lack of training camp players — Vogel was forced to play a shorter rotation on Friday than he did for most of the NBA Finals. That was probably fun for Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker — neither of whom will ever say no to more shots — but also hardly ideal in a preseason game.
Because of that, we should all hope at least a couple more guys give it a go on Sunday. Not just to make the game more watchable, but to more evenly distribute the preseason load. It would also be nice to see a glimpse of how Montrezl Harrell will fit in with his more meaningful teammates, or get a sneak peak at how the Lakers will integrate Marc Gasol’s passing, or how Dennis Schröder and LeBron James fit together as dual ballhandlers, among other basketball questions. Although if the Lakers just want to give us round two of the THT show, we won’t say no to that, either.
The Lakers and Clippers will tip off their second preseason showdown at 5:30 p.m. PT on Sunday. You can watch the game locally on Spectrum SportsNet or Fox Sports Prime Ticket, and nationally on ESPN. Let’s just hope everyone gets out of this game healthy.