Four-time NBA champion LeBron James and seven-time NBA All Star Anthony Davis will make their preseason debut on Wednesday when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Phoenix Suns, head coach Frank Vogel. The Lakers have so far played two games this preseason and James and Davis sat out both games.
The Lakers, who won their 17th NBA title two months ago after beating the Miami Heat, are being a bit cautios as they want to give their two main stars as much rest as possible ahead of the new season. Even without James and Davis in the lineup, the Lakers still managed to beat twice the Los Angeles Clippers, who played their stars in each of the two games.
James and Davis will get some limited action against the Suns as coach Vogel is planning to play them a little bit in the first half. "I do plan on playing AD and LeBron some first-half minutes, but just to kind of get their feet wet," Vogel said on a videoconference call with reporters, per ESPN.
Vogel wants James and Davis to get into a bit of rhythm
Several players that were on the Lakers' roster last year are now playing for a different team but there are also a couple of new names in a Purple and Gold uniform this season.
Vogel wants James and Davis to get some time on the court with the new players on the team. "I just want to see them go out and try to get a rhythm," Vogel said. "Get comfortable with some of their new teammates and try to get their legs under them a little bit.
We've been trying to intentionally every day monitor the amount of work put on those guys after the shortest offseason in history, and that will be no different with these next two preseason games." One of the new signings are Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol, who players well-known for their passing abilities.
Having those two will make a life easier for James, who now won't have to be the primary playmaker. "Every year causes for whatever that challenge presents itself," James said. "So, if it presents to me to be the primary ball handler and also try to lead the league in assists or to make sure I am being at the forefront of getting guys involved, then I can take that responsibility every single action. If our team doesn't need that this year, then that's absolutely fine as well."