Lakers vs. Warriors: Preseason Chat

Darius Soriano —  October 5, 2013

It’s been a long time coming, but the Lakers take the floor tonight for their first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. Who they face, however, isn’t really that important. The simple fact that we get actual NBA basketball — or as much as you can describe a preseason tilt as “actual” basketball — is great. It means the wait is over and we’re inching closer to the start of the real season.

The opponent is also of little import simply because what happens on the floor isn’t really opponent specific. There is no game plan in place to defeat the Dubs, there’s simply a plan to try and work on the things the team has been going over in practices and to get a look at the players in a competitive setting against guys who aren’t wearing “Lakers” on the front of their jerseys. Don’t get me wrong, I want the team to win — especially after they failed to get a single W in last season’s train wreck of an exhibition season — but I’m more interested in seeing how some of the guys look in a real game environment.

That’s especially true tonight since both Steve Nash and Pau Gasol aren’t expected to suit up (Nick Young should play even though he sprained his ankle a few days ago). This in addition to Kobe also missing the game with his reported trip to Germany for a medical procedure. So, the Lakers are essentially fielding a team of role players, the guys competing for the final roster spots, and camp bodies.

And while it’s difficult to get a full grasp of what these players are fully capable of when they don’t have the team’s best players to lean on to bail them out or be the centerpiece(s) of the offense, we’re still going to get a full game’s worth of information on them. What they did and didn’t do well; how they handle specific parts of the offense and defensive schemes; what kind of chemistry they exhibit. These are all important things that can be built on and getting an early look at what stage of the learning curve they’re at and how comfortable they are matters.

On that note, here are a few guys and themes I’ll be looking at/watching for tonight:

*How does Jordan Farmar look? Is he making plays for himself or others? Can he hit his outside shot? What’s his floor generalship like? I think we all have high hopes for Farmar in his second stint with the team and getting a nice long look at him tonight should give us a good start on any initial evaluation.

*Who looks best as a stretch PF? Shawne Williams, Marcus Landry, and Elias Harris all have some perimeter skills and are good fits as potential stretch 4’s. Seeing their different games in this environment — even if they will likely see time with guys like Robert Sacre and Dan Gadzuric at C — will, like with Farmar, provide a good place to start our evaluation. All three have some solid skills that would help this team down the line, seeing which, if any, can shine should be fun.

*Can Wes Johnson’s practice ability translate to the game? Back when he was a Laker, Sasha Vujacic got a rep as someone who would do really well in practice only for that caliber of play to not carry over to the games when it mattered. Johnson has earned some rave reviews in the opening days of camp and now is a good chance for him to show that he can bring a similar level against an opposing team.

*Is there a plan on defense? Last season it was hard to discern exactly what the Lakers’ plan of attack was defensively. Sometimes they’d hedge and recover on the P&R. Other times they’d hang back behind the pick. Sometimes they’d ICE sideline P&R’s (send them baseline). Other times they’d let the ball handler get to the middle. You could never really tell if there was a consistent plan from play to play or from game to game. In summer league, however, the Lakers had a clear plan of attack on D. They trapped the P&R and pressured ball handlers. They funneled penetration to the baseline and jumped passing lanes when teams tried to beat them with cross court passes. Tonight, will the D resemble last year’s regular season or will it be closer to what we saw in the summer?

Again, I’m excited to have there be an actual Lakers’ game to watch tonight. Enjoy the action, folks.

Where you can watch: 7:00 pm start on TWC Sportsnet. Also watch in NBA TV nationally.

Darius Soriano

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17 responses to Lakers vs. Warriors: Preseason Chat

  1. IIRC, the first preseason game last year was against GS and the Lakers gave up the 35-0 run. Set the tone for the Brown firing and the whole season. Also, going winless in preseaon is very rare, and I think it meant something, as things turned out.

    This year, I think the guys to watch are mostly whom Darius said: Farmar, Wesley Johnson, and Landry, Harris, and Williams.

  2. i am very excited to see this years model. i am definitely ready for the games tonight and tomorrow. i echo your post Darius.

  3. Where can we watch this game?

  4. MP,
    Info is at the bottom of the post…

  5. Good to see D. Rose back, looking spry and healthy – albeit rusty – against the Pacers tonight. Smart move on his part sitting out all of last season, if only for his mental.

    WJ, Farmar and J-Hill are the individuals who I’ll be locked into tonight. As I have high aspirations for the 3 of them this season.

  6. Hope there are no 0-35 runs in this game; that set the wrong tone last year.

  7. Rose looks (predictably) like he lost a step. But it’s early. Let’s see how much athletisism he can get back during the season. As everyone predicted Scola is washed up. Most overrated addition of the offseason.

    Watching Paul George look like a top five player in the world and a superstar… It makes me appreciate Kobe even more. He came into the league as a stud. He stayed that will until this season. Remarkable. Real greatness lasts. There are plenty of TMacs and Kemps out there. I feel like Paul George will be in that category for some reason. Sure… He will be great for this year and maybe the next four. Will he have the work ethic to keep it going?

  8. Saying that D-Rise lost a step in his 1st game back after almost 18 months off is stretching it a lil bit. He is rusty more than anything but 11 points in 16 minutes is not bad at all.

  9. I dont put a lot os stock on this games right now. Scola might be old but for the role required of him on that Pacer team is and excellent addition

  10. Interested to see Kamen who looks in good shape and the new and improved Farmer. Should be 300 points scored tonight.

  11. Best part about PG is he has the game that wont get easily injured.

  12. This Lakers squad needs to be all-hustle and extra-effort, all-the-time. That’s what I’ll look
    for from player 1-15 on offense and defense.

    If they manage to do that this season; then I’ll be satisfied. I will not be able to stomach this team if they don’t lay it all out on the floor every single second of the game.

    Let’s go!!!!!

  13. Looking forward to another great season of Lakers analysis, game previous and recaps from the staff at FB&G. Hope the fans enjoy the journey the Lakers take us on this season.

  14. Kamen looks better then Dwight did. Not so much Young. Considering Lakers have 3 Hall of future Famers not playing it’s not to bad so far.

  15. More wins then all pre last year. Also who said on this site that Henry signing was of no value?

  16. Didnt watched the game and is the 1st game of the preseason and im aware of the monster game of Xavier Henry kudos to Farmar too. The only thing i can hope for at this stage is that we are looking at the makings of a really solid bench. That would be huge once our team is 100% healthy and would be a great boost for the team until we get totally healthy. Im crossing my fingers on this one.

  17. for the most part they were organized and everybody did something of value. that was a good start. they even played a bit of defense. now they need to develope consistency and they also need to continue to improve. this year’s 3rd string sure looks like they could be last year’s second string.