After months of speculation about who will start at center for the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday that DeAndre Jordan will get the first crack at it on opening night, with Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, LeBron James and Anthony Davis rounding out the starting five.
Vogel has yet to confirm his starting lineup, and is unlikely to do so before he’s required to.
For those that were hoping Davis would be the Lakers’ full-time starting center this season, this isn’t great news, but it shouldn’t be that surprising. Since taking over the Lakers in 2019, Frank Vogel has preferred a two-big lineup with an additional big man off of the bench. More than that, though, a two-big lineup has been the likeliest outcome since Trevor Ariza’s injury.
Sure, the Lakers could have started small with a three-guard lineup featuring Westbrook, Bazemore and Malik Monk, or a two-forward lineup with James and Carmelo Anthony, but both of those choices would have made the rotation more complicated and “complicated” might not be what Vogel wants for a team that’s just getting to know each other.
As the season progresses and the team gets closer to full strength, Vogel will have more pressure to play Davis at center, but hopefully by then he’ll have found a nice balance with Davis at center, or the two-center rotation will be a proven success like it was during the 2019-20 season. If not, it will be another season of fans and pundits alike wondering why Davis isn’t playing the position that arguably gives the Lakers the best chance at maximizing their superstar trio.
The Lakers and Warriors will tip-off at 7 p.m. PST and the game will be broadcast on TNT.
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