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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Lakers’ starting lineup comes into focus, but there’s work to do before the opener

El Segundo – Please ask Kent Bezmore about his day. He wants to tell you.

For the past few weeks, the 32-year-old said that he has quit work with a jump in his step.

“Every night, I walk out to the gym, and I really look forward to seeing people ask me, ‘What did you do tonight? Bazemore said. “Shoot, I played basketball with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.”

The North Carolina native has made it a habit to team up with superstars in recent seasons: He’s played with Damien Lillard in Portland and Steph Curry at Golden State. Having taken a second stint, Bezmore is now well positioned to be a starter on a team of current and former All-Stars – just as he was for 10 games during the 2014–15 season for the Atlanta Hawks, sending out four starters. Were. All-Star Game (Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver).

But a 0-6 preseason, on the other hand, has at least told the Lakers that they have a lot of work to do. Bazmore conceded on Friday afternoon, just four days before Tuesday night’s season opener against Golden State.

“At times I see myself on film, and I’m like a deer in the headlights trying to read these guys on the team,” he said. “This is my fourth team in three seasons. Playbooks, personnel – it’s been a lot of moving parts around me, sometimes pushing a bit of an identity crisis.

Coach Frank Vogel admitted the Lakers are circling around the starting lineup for opening night. Although he has not disclosed who that group will be, Bezmore has survived a training camp crash that has seen his top competitors covered with injury, and Vogel has hinted that DeAndre Jordan had been killed by Javelle McGee two seasons earlier. Driven is a major contender to fill the initial role. . Although the Lakers can shift their starting lineup based on matchups – for example, the Warriors are a smaller team – Vogel doesn’t want to change the alignment at night if he doesn’t have to.

There could be more confidence if the Lakers managed to string together 48 minutes of basketball. But amid the injuries and the apparent growing pains of his superstars feeling each other, Jordan admitted the preseason was disappointing. But based on their closed room sessions and film reviews, he said that the team has no reason to panic.

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“I think in practice we’ve all been able to see alive and no one really stops the practice,” he said. “So, I feel like we get a lot of our learnings and our continuity is through our practices with different lineups.”

It has become clear that the learning process for the Lakers will take longer than once popularly thought. While they boast a deep roster of Giants, they are overhauling their offensive plan, which will see them move from a largely isolation-driven unit to one that requires off-ball movement. In terms of defense, nine out of 11 newcomers haven’t played to Vogel’s plan before and are learning each other’s instincts.

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