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Three Takeaways From the Lakers Preseason

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This year has been quite a unique one for basketball due to the COVID pandemic.
From the season being stopped midway in March to having the bubble to finish up the 2020 season, having no summer league, and having only three or four games in the preseason, it has been a year like no other. 

Despite everything going on, the Lakers still finished the 2020 season on top by winning it all and becoming NBA Champions once again.

Going into the new season, they are looking to repeat the feat, starting with a great preseason, finishing 4-0.

This has been a wonderful opportunity for the league and the fans to look at the brand new Laker team. Here are some takeaways from those four preseason games of the Lakers.

Bench Depth

During the offseason, the Lakers bench certainly got an upgrade with the likes of reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Montrezl Harrell, and Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Dennis Schröder joining the Lakers. They also added Wesley Matthews and kept key bench players like Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso. 

The Lakers showcased their deep bench throughout the preseason as they gave extended minutes to those trying to earn their spots in Frank Vogel’s rotation. Lebron and Anthony Davis only played two out of the four preseason games, and in every game, Vogel elected to rest his stars and starters to play the bench down the stretch. The bench certainly made the most of their minutes, and they showed they could get it done too, carrying the Lakers to four victories.

The bench showed everyone that the Lakers are a much deeper team this year, and anyone who gets inserted into the game can help the Lakers claim another title. 

Talen Horton-Tucker

Photo: Barry Gossage/Christian Petersen/nba.com

THT gets a special shout out here because of how amazing he played during the preseason. The second-year guard turned heads as he absolutely balled out in the four preseason games. His best game came in the second game against the Clippers, where he scored 33 points, with 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. He showcased his whole arsenal this preseason. He averaged 20.5 points, good enough for 9th best in the whole league throughout the preseason, along with  6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.2 steals, with shooting percentages of 54% from three and 55% overall. 

Horton-Tucker was also second highest in points for players who played 4 games, right behind all-star Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, who averaged 21.5 points a game. This shows you that the 20-year old swingman has been working hard the past year, and he shows that he can be a consistent and efficient player on the court for the Lakers.

The young guard has definitely made a word for himself coming into the season, and Frank Vogel will have a tough task ahead of him to include him in their guard rotation throughout the season regularly. 

Ready to Repeat

The preseason record may not count, but the Lakers will be looking to continue their momentum from their perfect preseason coming into the regular season. The Lakers have all the momentum in the world coming fresh from winning a championship just 71 days before the beginning of the regular season. 

If the Lakers continue their success and everyone embraces their roles, the Purple & Gold have a great chance to repeat as back to back NBA Champions. The Lakers are led by superstars Anthony Davis and Lebron James. They have a great supporting cast with a good balance of veterans and young guns. And they have a bench that can be argued to be one of the deepest in the league. The Lakers have the weapons; all that’s left to do is to perform up to standard.

The Lakers season tips off on December 22 in a game against an intercity rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, at 7 PM PT.

Featured Image: Barry Gossage/Christian Petersen/nba.com
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