The Lakers held practice on Wednesday in preparation for their final preseason game against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday and Gabe Vincent was among the players who participated. Vincent has been out for the last two preseason games due to back tightness.
Notes from Lakers practice:— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 18, 2023
- Darvin Ham on the preseason finale: "We’re going to come in and play a real, normal, competitive basketball game and see how we fit together in long stretches."
- Gabe Vincent participated after missing the last two games with back tightness.
With Darvin Ham and the Lakers playing this final preseason game as essentially a dress rehearsal for the regular season opener against Denver, having Vincent healthy and available would be ideal.
So far, in preseason play, the 6'2 guard is averaging 8.3 points, shooting 37.5% from deep in his 19.4 minutes of action. Vincent has one more opportunity to demonstrate he can be Ham's first guard off the bench and play a Dennis Schröder-type role for the Lakers this season, being a spark off the bench and spreading the floor with his shot-making ability.
Still considered day-to-day by the Lakers, though no injury officially exists in the preseason, it's unclear whether Vincent will be available on Thursday. If he plays, his minutes and spot in the rotation will likely be a preview of his first week of regular season action with the Lakers.
Fans should have tempered expectations with Vincent not just for Thursday's preseason action but for the season. Vincent caught fire in the playoffs with the Miami Heat last year. He had some incredible shooting nights, like his 6-9 performance from deep versus the Boston Celtics in Game 2, but for every one of those performances, he has a 2-10 from the field stinker like he had against the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 in the NBA Finals.
An experience akin to that of Danny Green’s is one Lakers fans might need to be ready for and it will be Ham's responsibility to go with Vincent when he's hot and pull him when he's cold. But before Ham can make those decisions, Vincent has to be ready to go and practicing today is another step towards the Lakers being fully healthy and ready to perform at the start of the season.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.