Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Observations from Lakers vs. Kings preseason game

Los Angeles Lakers basketball is finally back after a long and strange offseason!

The team looks a lot different after a summer filled with trade rumors, and Monday’s contest against the Sacramento Kings gave fans a glimpse at what the new-look Lakers could be this season.

Not surprisingly, it was an ugly contest, especially for Los Angeles, which shot 31.2% from the field and committed 23 turnovers, which led to 30 Sacramento points.

The team also had substantial trouble on the boards, giving up 15 offensive rebounds.

But there were a few bright spots for the Lakers, especially from three players.

Anthony Davis looks refreshed

After only playing in 76 of a possible 154 games the past two seasons due to multiple injuries, Davis looks energized and motivated to do very well this year.

He has said he wants to play in all 82 games this season, and both LeBron James and head coach Darvin Ham have challenged him to become the team’s top offensive option.

The big man had 11 rebounds in 16 minutes on Monday, to go along with 11 points.

A big bone of contention for Davis has been his 3-point shooting, which has been piss-poor the past two seasons.

However, against the Kings, he knocked down 2-of-4 from downtown, which was a very welcome sight.

Wenyen Gabriel showed energy and defensive effort

Gabriel, an undrafted 6-foot-9 big man, was signed by the Lakers late last season in an effort to infuse the team with some youth and energy.

He did just that, but in terms of actual basketball talent and skill, he had a lot of work to do.

In the team’s first preseason game on Monday, he made a noticeable contribution, especially on the defensive end.

He blocked four shots and was also active on the boards, getting nine rebounds, including four on the offensive end.

Gabriel also moved well offensively, getting a couple of easy baskets off ball movement.

He is the Lakers’ only true power forward coming off the bench. Therefore, it will be important for him to offer them productive defense against the league’s best at the 4 spot.

Cole Swider can help the Lakers with one of their biggest weaknesses

One of the biggest problems L.A. has had the past couple of seasons is 3-point shooting, and it’s one of the reasons it signed Swider as an undrafted free agent a few months ago.

He shot the ball extremely well during summer league play, and, naturally, some wondered whether that skill would translate to actual NBA games.

On Monday, he went 2-of-4 from downtown and 3-of-7 overall for a total of 10 points.

Swider is not only a dependable 3-point shooter when he’s open off ball movement, but he also has an impressive ability to hit catch-and-shoot 3s with a defender right in his face.

If he holds his own defensively and on the boards, look for him to get playing time throughout the season.

Related Stories
Observations from Lakers vs. Suns preseason game
Despite losing by four, the Lakers looked much better on Wednesday against the Suns than they did on Monday.
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Lakers vs. Kings: Stream, lineups and broadcast info for Monday
Here's all you need to know ahead of Monday's Lakers vs Kings game.
Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers, live stream, TV channel, time, odds, how to watch the NBA Preseason
The Sacramento Kings will meet the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Preseason action on Monday night from the Crypto.com Arena.
Observations from Lakers vs. Timberwolves preseason game
Although the Lakers lost again in preseason play on Thursday, there were a couple of bright spots.
Cole Swider was delighted to make Lakers debut in front of his family
Lakers rookie forward Cole Swider said playing in his first NBA game on Monday was a "dream come true."
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Eagles snap count vs. Jaguars: Breakdown, observations from Week 4
Here's a look at the snap count and playing time usage from the Philadelphia Eagles' 29-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4