Just a couple blocks from where the San Francisco Giants played the Dodgers for the NLDS, the Golden State Warriors hosted the Los Angeles Lakers in what turned out to be an entertaining event. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook finally made their preseason debuts and played 18 and 17 minutes respectively. The game started off ugly, as both teams combined to hit 15 of 48 shots in the first quarter. Thankfully, the Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter to make this contest much more interesting, but ultimately lost in a 114-121 affair.
That's three straight exhibition losses to open the season for the Lakeshow. Seasoned Laker fans historically know when the team is good and expected to contend, preseason basketball means nothing. If the team played .500 ball the first 15 to 20 games of the season, then maybe there should be some cause for concern. But with these games not even counting, it really doesn't matter. The Lakers host the Phoenix Suns next on Sunday at 7PM back at Staples Center.
Rough start for Russell Westbrook
This wasn’t exactly the start that Laker fans were anticipating throughout the summer. Westbrook managed to turn the ball over six times in the first quarter. He definitely seemed out of sorts as there were many instances in his 17 minutes that he dribbled aggressively a few feet within the perimeter, but hesitated and threw the ball back out to reset or turned the ball away altogether. Don't expect Westbrook to figure it out quickly. Playing with James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook's usage rate will not be as high as he's known, so there may be a steep learning curve at the onset of the season.
“Everything isn’t going to be figured out right now. We’ve got a long year…we’ll figure it out.”
LeBron James Is Not Concerned at All
With James entering his 19th season, he’s really seen it all on the court. So, expecting someone of his stature to really take anything away from a meaningless game would be a stretch. He definitely aligns with this sentiment.
“I care more about the practice court than I care about preseason games. You get out there and play rotations, and you’re trying to figure out things of that nature. There’s only so much you can get out of a preseason game, at least for me individually.”
Dwight Howard's Still Got It
Howard seemed to warp back into a time machine, and showcased why he was once considered the best big man in the league. He played in 24 minutes and dominated the paint with 23 points on 11 shots, and 12 rebounds with six of those offensive. Even at the age of 35, he will be vital to their rotation backing up Anthony Davis.