The Los Angeles Lakers only have two full days left before their first preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Monday, and the team is continuing to ramp up their preparation for the season to tip off midway through this month. The latest step in that process was a scrimmage open to the media on Saturday, and the team’s beat writers were kind enough to tweet a few clips and observations for us to hyper-analyze and overreact to.
Here are a couple of takeaways from what came out of the session.
Kendrick Nunn and Damian Jones seem like prohibitive favorites to start
As we highlighted yesterday, the Lakers are still evaluating a few starting lineup possibilities, but each update does make it seem more and more likely it will be Jones and Nunn flanking LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook:
Lot of combinations, but we’ve been seeing a lot of Damian Jones and Kendrick Nunn on the same squad with LeBron and Russ. Notably we haven’t seen AD participate in this open scrimmage; Troy Brown and Lonnie Walker, who have been limited this week, are also not scrimmaging.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 1, 2022
We’ll get to more info on that Davis update in a moment, but first, while it does seem Austin Reaves is still in the mix for one of the guard spots at the very least, until we hear otherwise, we should probably prepare ourselves for a James/Davis/Westbrook/Nunn/Jones unit to start the year.
As promised in the headline, here are a few clips and photos of those groups and more. We will update this story if any new footage comes out as we all try to go a few more days without Laker basketball:
The Lakers are scrimmaging here at Pechanga.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 1, 2022
Purple team: Damian Jones, Cole Swider, LeBron James, Kendrick Nunn, Russell Westbrook
White team: Jay Huff, Thomas Bryant, Dwayne Bacon, Patrick Beverley, Scotty Pippen Jr. pic.twitter.com/MI3KklT0Fl
Little look at the Lakers’ scrimmage in Pechanga this morning. LeBron finishes in transition; Pat Bev follows with a floater pic.twitter.com/65D6QUzzxs— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 1, 2022
More Lakers scrimmaging pic.twitter.com/yKH9bLQ77F— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 1, 2022
Good morning from Pechanga, where Cole Swider is hitting shots on a Saturday. pic.twitter.com/REeRT5lfas— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 1, 2022
Russ with the lefty finish pic.twitter.com/BRUsiXqHvQ— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 1, 2022
October 1, 2022
If you’re wondering why Davis wasn’t in this footage, well...
AD didn’t scrimmage in front of the media, but did practice
Before anyone freaks out that Davis is already hurt, it sounds like this was not related to any injury, and that Davis (along with James and Westbrook) may play in Monday’s exhibition opener.
Anthony Davis said he participated in today’s practice in full but just did not play in the scrimmage in front of the media.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 1, 2022
Anthony Davis told us afterward he participated in the scrimmage that was closed to the media on the purple team with LeBron and Russ. https://t.co/voWcuzZvfv— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 1, 2022
Darvin Ham on the possibility of LeBron, AD and Russ playing in Monday’s preseason opener: “If possible, yeah.”— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 1, 2022
Ham said he’s going to get with his staff tomorrow to decide.
Asked Anthony Davis about the group with him, LeBron, Russ, Nunn and Jones that we’ve been hearing a lot about. Said AD: “It kind of reminds me of my first year here with JaVale in that lineup, having that lob threat and the rest of the guys playing on the perimeter.” pic.twitter.com/l6MxjvGaAe— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 1, 2022
And in other availability news surrounding the team...
Lonnie Walker (ankle) is doing better, Troy Brown Jr. (back) is still recovering from injury, and Dennis Schröder (visa issues) should arrive soon
Darvin Ham says that Lonnie Walker (ankle) participated in full-contact practice Saturday; Troy Brown Jr. (back) was limited to individual drills; Dennis Schroder is expected to join the team early this week— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 1, 2022
Injuries already are obviously not ideal, but Walker’s issue doesn’t sound serious, we don’t have a ton of reason to worry about Brown yet (at least not this early) and Schröder is at least in playing shape from his impressive Eurobasket efforts.
Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for updates on those players and more as the season approaches.
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