Los Angeles Lakers: Biggest takeaways from team’s first practice

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Frank Vogel, speak to the press during Los Angeles Laker media day at UCLA Health Training Center on September 27, 2019 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Frank Vogel, speak to the press during Los Angeles Laker media day at UCLA Health Training Center on September 27, 2019 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

This past Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers held their first official practice of the preseason and there are plenty of takeaways.

With all the hype surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers, the media did not fail us in providing a multitude of clips for fans to overreact to. It’s not the Lakers without drama, so why not overreact a bit and read into these five-second Twitter clips.

From what we saw, here are the biggest takeaways from the Laker’s first practice. But first, here is a hype video from the practice to put us all in the Purple and Gold mood.

First takeaway: Coach Frank Vogel’s dedication and focus to make the Los Angeles Lakers an elite defensive team.

We all know the Lakers will be a juggernaut on offense, but Vogel believes that the Lakers, with the proper effort and attention to detail, can rank among the top defenses in the league as well.

After the fiasco with Ty Lue, most people were very critical of the hire of Vogel. However, he may be the perfect fit for the job. The Lakers’ offense will work itself out, but if Vogel can hold the Lakers’ players accountable on defense, it could really propel the team to the next level.

This includes LeBron James. He obviously will not go quite as hard during the regular season, but Vogel has indicated that he will hold LeBron to the same standards as any other player on the defensive end.

Defense might not be as fun to talk about, but its what the Lakers need. Hat off to Vogel for setting the tone and expectations early.

Second takeaway: Deals with the first team for the Lakers scrimmage.

In their opening scrimmage, Vogel put together the first team consisting of LeBron, Anthony Davis, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo.

LeBron, AD, and Green had already been penciled in as starters, but Rondo and McGee were the question marks that we are now receiving answers to. Would LeBron start at point guard? Would AD start at center? Would Alex Caruso get his shot?

We now know that Vogel intends to go with more of a traditional starting lineup, with a classic big man and point guard.

Twitter threw a fit about Rondo, as he is definitely the most unliked player on the Lakers roster. However, Vogel is going to do what he thinks is best for the team. While Caruso is a fan favorite and the more exciting option, Rondo is a veteran who has proven himself time and time again in his career.

Earlier in the summer, I explained why Rondo would most likely get the start over Caruso, despite popular belief.

Additionally, Caruso seemed to be the primary ball-handler for the second unit. Here, he will be able to shine and also be a primary scorer and still have the opportunity to finish games if he is playing well. When Kyle Kuzma returns from his ankle injury, he will also be in the second unit. Caruso and Kuzma could help make the Lakers second unit a force to be reckoned with.

With all this said, Vogel did say that he is going try out multiple groups and give everyone a shot. But for now, this is the most likely starting lineup for the Lakers.

Third takeaway: Avery Bradley is looking like his old self from his Celtic’s days.

Avery Bradley has the potential to be the biggest x-factor the Lakers this season.

When signed, there was a lot of speculation on if he would continue to play poorly like he did with the Clippers, or return to his former self when on the Celtics.

The Lakers could use Bradley’s defense, but there were questions on if he had lost a step and if his shooting woes would continue.

Well, Bradley seems to be on the right track and has received nothing but praise from the first practice.

Bradley reportedly has lost 40 pounds and has also greatly improved his shooting. If this is true, he has a chance to be an extremely valuable asset. He can defend elite guards and knock down open shots.

Bradley is the perfect type of player for Vogel, so if he impresses, could work his way into the starting lineup. Vogel says he will give Bradley opportunities with the first team, so do not be surprised if Bradley is starting in place of Rondo on opening night. This would allow LeBron to play more freely with the ball at the point, and catapult the starting lineup defensively.

Fourth takeaway: As the preseason goes on, expect to see LeBron less involved at practices.

LeBron, along with Anthony Davis, put the hammer down in the Los Angeles Lakers first scrimmage.

LeBron seems to be in basketball shape, despite his long offseason. Assuming he is in shape, there is no reason to have him fully participating in preseason practices.

Ranking each Laker role player by importance. dark. Next

For the Los Angeles Lakers, this season is the true definition of “a marathon, not a sprint.” With LeBron seeming to be prone to injury for the first time, resting and easing his way into the season is the best option. Even though it is preseason, immediately starting to conserve the miles he is putting on his body is essential.