The Lakers have the oldest roster in the NBA, averaging 30.0 years of age. The NBA season is a marathon and it begins Tuesday night against the upgraded Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry, who played out of his mind in the preseason.
These 5 burning questions won’t be answered until the season is over, but we can start to get an idea of the long road ahead in Game 1 of 82 regular-season games. Then the real drama begins in the playoffs. The NBA season will be a battle of attrition as usual. Last man standing.
1. How will the Lakers new trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook fare?
PG Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Rajon Rondo
SG Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, Avery Bradley, Austin Reaves
SF Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kent Bazemore
PF LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Sekou Doumbouya
C Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan pic.twitter.com/UGDk0kMnKv
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) October 18, 2021
Three superstars and one basketball. This will be very interesting. In a preseason loss to Golden State that dropped the Lakers’ record to 0-5, LeBron James preached patience.
“It’s going to take a minute for us to become the team that we know we are going to be capable of being,” said James. “We’re going to have moments where we’re not quite right there. We may take steps backwards. But that’s all part of … I think nothing is worth having if it’s not worth working for.”
2. Is Russell Westbrook willing to take being a third option?
He was awful in the preseason, but when you have played this long in the league, the preseason is for chemistry development. Russ have never been a third option in his career. Get your popcorn ready.
3. The Lakers have an abundance of roster experience, but are they too old?
Coach Frank Vogel’s minute dispersion will be very interesting with L.A’.s mix of old and young players on the roster. “Load Management” is the key.
4. When Will Klay Play?
Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that Klay Thompson is expected to be cleared for full-contact practices within a month. He says Thompson’s debut will depend on how long he’ll need to go through full-contact practices before being deemed ready to go.
First week of the regular season and Klay Thompson appears close to 100%. He stayed after practice today shooting threes, and he looks good. He’s expected to return to full contact at practice in the next month. The Splash Brothers should be reunited soon! @kron4news #DubNation pic.twitter.com/FjZkFvA2CL
— Kylen Mills (@KylenMills) October 18, 2021
With Steph Curry single-handedly carrying the roster last season, GM Bob Myers added some real upgrades in Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica plus the return of fan favorite Andre Iguodala. They team also drafted Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody in the 2021 NBA draft.
5. Will Draymond Green be willing to look for his shot?
Head coach Steve Kerr wants Dray taking 2-3 threes a night to keep defenses more honest against Curry. Third-year player Jordan Poole was a pleasant surprise last season and even better in this preseason.
Draymond Green details the times Steph Curry has yelled at him
-"Shooting the ball. SHOOT THE BALL!"
-"Remember when I got into with Steve (in OKC)? He yelled at me right then, too. He was sitting right next to me and stood up and yelled at me." pic.twitter.com/bQBWYDiFZx
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 13, 2021
Poole will start opposite Curry with Klay Thompson reportedly not available until around Christmas or after New Year’s. Poole’s play will be a huge factor in how quickly the Warriors decide to bring Thompson back.
The tradeability of Andrew Wiggins also depends on Poole’s development. They could include Wiggins in a trade for someone like Pascal Siakim or Ben Simmons if that materializes.