May 28, 2024

While you should hesitate to take anything away from a preseason game, if you must, do so cautiously. With that being said, here are some takeaways from the Lakers’ opening 125-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

AD came to play

If there was one thing to be pleased with, it had to be Anthony Davis’ aggression, especially from three-point range, where he made two of three in the first half before sitting down.

After the game, Davis seemed to shrug off the threes.

“I was open. That’s really it,” Davis said. “I think our guards did a good job of penetrating the defense and finding the right guys. Found me a couple of times, swing, swing [pass], and [one] off a pick. As long as they keep putting pressure on the defense and keep getting downhill, all those types of shots will be open. And not just for me but for all our guys.”

The Lakers didn’t have LeBron James and Austin Reaves, who said he hopes to play Monday against the Brooklyn Nets in Las Vegas, and the offense stalled for most of the first half, the Lakers having too many possessions with one pass or none. But as the offense found footing, it came from ball movement.

D-Lo comfortable

With Reaves out as part of his recovery from playing for Team USA this summer, Russell started alongside newcomer Gabe Vincent.

After the game, Russell praised Vincent’s IQ and said he’s comfortable playing next to players like Vincent who also create plays others. Same goes for Reaves.

“I can play with a lot of different lineups, but I feel like my strength, when I play great, is when I have another point guard next to me,” Russell said.

Coach Darvin Ham said he thought Russell helped get the Lakers back on track in the second half.

“D-Lo did a great job of being methodical in our middle pick and roll,” Ham said.

Russell had 15 points and five assists while Vincent chased Stephen Curry and played primarily off the ball.

The other stuff

There was plenty of postgame praise for Max Christie, who was aggressive in the second half as he pushes for a spot in the rotation. He scored 15 points, 13 in the second half. “He’s a guy that can be one of our most versatile basketball players on the roster. He can guard multiple positions, from the 1 to the 3 and some 4s,” Ham said. “I want him to be aggressive in that manner and take on those challenges. And then offensively, the same thing. He can catch and shoot with the best of them. And I want him to be comfortable shooting that three. And also playing downhill, playing to the paint, playing to the rim.” …

Cam Reddish, one of the players who could get minutes at the back end of the rotation, struggled in his debut, which ended when he rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter. He’s set for a reevaluation Sunday in Las Vegas. … Jaxson Hayes showed his potential value as a screener and rim runner. …

Two-way guard D’Moi Hodge scored eight quick points in the fourth, impressing Davis. … The Lakers started Davis, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Russell and Vincent. Christie and Christian Wood were the first two subs. … Wood and Taurean Prince both struggled to find their shot, combining to make just three for 13.

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