Lakers' starting lineup wasn't hard to predict
Lakers front runner LeBron James drives to the basket in the first half on Tuesday at the Staples Center above the Clippers Center Serge Ibaka. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
About two hours before the Lakers opened the regular season against the Clippers at the Staples Center, coach Frank Vogel said he would not announce his starting line-up "30 minutes before the game".
When the puzzle was over, Vogel obviously started LeBron James and Anthony Davis as strikers, Marc Gasol as strikers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as shooters, and Dennis Schroder as point guard.
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It was really no surprise there.
Yes, Kyle Kuzma started the first three exhibition games and was astute.
Because his team is so strong, Vogel chose these fives and said during the 72-game season, "We'll look at a lot of different combinations."
"The first months to six weeks of our season are about exploring different line-ups and combinations," said Vogel. "We'll be creative with it and learn a little more about our team and focus on our habits."
Playing time for James
As James enters his 18th NBA season, Vogel must decide how much to use his striker.
James averaged 34.6 minutes per game last season. He averaged 25.3 points and 10.2 assists, front runner in the NBA.
James, who signed a two-year extension for $ 85 million, will turn 36 on December 30th.
"I just want to peel back as much as possible on his minutes," said Vogel. “The risk of peeling back your minutes too much is…. When you talk to our medical team, you want to keep them on rhythm as much as possible. If he's out there for long distances, things get riskier. Or if he sits too long on the bench and has to come back cold, there are riskier situations there. So we built in a rotation for him in which he plays more short bursts, gets a shorter break and stays in what his body is used to. "
Lue was looking forward to being head coach again
Ty Lue is back on top and is excited to be the Clippers head coach after being assistant last season.
Lue had been fired from the Cleveland Cavaliers after a 6-0 start into the 2018/19 season. He had led her to three straight NBA finals and won the title in 2016.
Despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic and no fans in the stands, Lue is happy to be the lead actor again.
"I'm very excited, you know, just, you know, very blessed to be able to start the season with what's going on with the pandemic in the world right now," Lue said at a pre-game video conference. “You know these are unhappy times and we must all get through together. That being said, I'm very excited to be back on the sidelines, close to the game I love. The game gave me everything I have in my life, you know, including my family. I look forward to being back out there and trying again. "
Morris still injured
After Marcus Morris suffered a pain in his right knee, Lue Nicolas Batum started forward. Batum started all three exhibition games for the Clippers with an average of just three points at 25% shooting, 33.3% of which from the three-point range.
Lue has said he likes the way Batum passed the ball in practice and during games and this has been his solid defense.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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