As good as the Los Angeles Lakers have looked in the preseason with Talen Horton-Tucker as their leading man, they’re going to need LeBron James and Anthony Davis to repeat as champions this season — shocking analysis, I know.
Fortunately for the Lakers, it doesn’t sound like James and Davis are ready to hang it up and hand the keys to THT just yet. According to Frank Vogel, James and Davis could return to the court as early as Wednesday, when the Lakers are set to take on the Phoenix Suns in Arizona.
“They’ve been participating heavily in practice and they’re going to sit these two first preseason games out and hopefully play in the final two preseason games,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ second game. “Play some in game three and more in game four to get as close as possible to a dress rehearsal for the regular season.”
Seeing James and Davis on the court together again is going to be cool, especially since they both have new contracts that will keep them in Los Angeles for the next few years, but we know how they fit together already. Hell, we knew how they were going to fit before they played their first game together.
The real intrigue is with the new pieces around them, including — but not limited to — Dennis Schröder and Marc Gasol. It’s been a while since James has played with a guard as athletic and creative as Schröder, so it will be interesting to see how they play off of each other. It will also be interesting to how many of Gasol’s passes Davis is on the receiving end of — my guess is a lot.
James and Davis returning to the court also means we could get our first glimpse of Vogel’s regular season rotations. The rotation is obviously going to evolve throughout the season, but we’ll at least have an idea of where Vogel’s head is at in terms of how he plans on staggering players.
Then, before you know it, we’ll be fully back into the swing of regular season basketball. Time flies when you’re winning championships, I guess.