The topic that any coach gets asked the most about is the lineup.
Who’s going to start, and when – and with whom – is everybody else going to play? Heading into the 2019-20 Lakers season, the starting PG spot likely offers the most intrigue.
After all, coach Frank Vogel doesn’t need to mention that LeBron James and Anthony Davis will start at the 3 and the 4 … we all know that. Meanwhile, key free agent Danny Green appears to have an edge at the 2 thanks to the spacing he provides on offense and his ability to defend multiple positions.
At center, even if 2018-19 starter JaVale McGee has an early edge, Dwight Howard has looked healthy and explosive early in camp and will get a look.
“I thought Dwight and JaVale have been very good, if not great since practice started,” said LeBron after Monday’s practice, which he spent on the sideline resting alongside fellow vet Jared Dudley. “I love what they’re able to do. Those are two guys that stood out.”
But at point guard?
At Saturday’s Day 1 of practice, it was Rajon Rondo playing with the 1st team. On Sunday, it was Avery Bradley. Meanwhile, Alex Caruso has been a steady presence with the 2nd team, and will definitely be getting minutes and the opportunity for more as the season goes on. But it would appear that Rondo and Bradley have the first chance to work with the 1’s.
As Joey Ramirez wrote for us yesterday, it was that Day 2 line up, and Bradley in particular, that drew rave reviews.
“All anybody’s talking about is Avery Bradley’s tenaciousness,” said Vogel. “That speaks volumes about what he’s been able to show in the first couple of days.”
“Avery continues to stand out obviously, just with his defensive tenacity,” echoed LeBron.
Bradley isn’t a traditional point guard; he’s played more shooting guard on offense, which speaks to his career average of 1.8 assists. But the 28-year-old is excellent at defending point guards, and is a career 36.4 percent 3-point shooter (most recently, 38.4 percent in 14 games with Memphis last spring).
That makes him a possible fit as a starter on a team that has LeBron, who’s going to initiate the offense more often than not anyway.