Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Warriors for the third time in three tries this preseason. The Lakers had all their bigs in the lineup. Anthony Davis returned to action, LeBron James played 25 minutes, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee all kept the smaller Warriors from scoring. The Warriors rested Steph Curry and handed the point guard position to D’Angelo Russell. Russell responded with 23 points.
The Warriors were looking to use the new players to see how they would play against the Lakers. Head coach Steve Kerr is looking for players that will fill the voids left by the losses of Kevin Durant, Quinn Cook, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and the injured Klay Thompson. They want to know if Alfonzo McKinnie will be a starting forward. They want to see if he can make the team. They want to know if Jordan Poole can be the player to lead the second unit. They want to know if third-year player Damian Lee will be able to contribute to the second unit. Their big men, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney, will be able to handle Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, and other big men in the league. Looney and Cauley-Stein have not played in the preseason. The Warriors know what Looney can do. They will have to wait until Cauley-Stein recovers from his injury to find out if he meshes well with Curry and Russell.
The Warriors will have to make decisions on Jacob Evans. Evans has played well so far. He scored five Wednesday night. The Warriors need to know if Glenn Robinson III is the answer at forward. Robinson had the night off. Eric Paschall is a candidate to make the team, but not as a starter. The Warriors will use Marquese Chriss at the center position until Cauley-Stein returns.
There is no question that the Warriors are in a rebuilding year. There are so many questions and decisions that have to be made.
As for the game, The Warriors had three players in double figures. Russell led the team with 23. Draymond Green had 10, and Jordan Poole kicked in with 14. Damian Lee added 9. Paschall and Chriss each had 8.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James. James had 18. Dwight Howard had 13, Avery Bradley 18, Anthony Davis 8, JaVale McGee 12. Former Warrior Quinn Cook knocked down 16. He made four threes in five tries.
The Warriors shot 37% from the floor. The Lakers shot 49.2%. The Warriors made seven threes. The Lakers tallied 15. The Lakers outrebounded the Warriors 46-34.
Robinson and Steph Curry did not play.
The fans have to keep in mind that the Warriors are a work in progress. No one wants to see them get blown out, but it is a game that doesn’t count. The Warriors are looking at people that they think will benefit the team. Minutes are limited. Hopefully, they will get off to a good start.
The Warriors play the Lakers again Friday night at the Chase Center. It will be the final preseason game. The season starts for real on Thursday, October 24th, when they play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Chase Center.