Lakers training camp notes: day one

EL SEGUNDO, CA – SEPTEMBER 27: Kyle Kuzma #0, Anthony Davis #3, Head Coach Frank Vogel, Rajon Rondo #9, and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers pose for a portrait during media day on September 27, 2019 at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Laker fans welcome to the new season. That’s actually Anthony Davis in the purple and gold. Yesterday, we had the first look at the Chicago native in the jersey. Today is the first day of Lakers training camp and the unibrow-ed unicorn’s sharing the court with LeBron James.  Let’s take a look at some of the quotes and videos of what went down.

Starting Five

Fans speculated all summer about who would be joining Danny Green, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis in the starting line-up.  In the scrimmage, we the point guard and center to join the trio were Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. The second unit comprised of Alex Caruso, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, and Dwight Howard. Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels cycled into that second unit as well.

(Shoutout to our friend, Harrison Faigen for these)

When asked about the lineup, head coach Frank Vogel stated that Davis and James are playing together so they can build chemistry. Those around them are subjected to change.

Is seeing Rondo in that unit uneasy? Sure. But it is just the first training camp practice and things can change. No need to overreact for now. There are still weeks to go before the regular season, but we will be monitoring the situation as camp continues.

Rondo the shooter

Back to the topic of Rajon Rondo. Vogel brought up how “good” of a shooter he has become and mentioned that he has been working with Jason Kidd. Kidd similarly progressed into a better shooter as his career went on. Rondo, on the other hand, might not be the “young point guard” that he was to mentor when first hired.

As we said before, no need to overreact (yet). But it can be important to stress that having a non-shooter like Rondo in the starting line-up can be worrying. Still, there is some reason for the regard that Rondo has from his peers. James and Davis respect and like playing with him. Coaches hold him to high regard (sometimes too high).

Pleasing two of your best players is important. We would want Davis to be happy during his last year under contract. Rondo fills that role.

Defensive emphasis

The first hour of practice was all emphasized on defense. Vogel was known for his defensive pedigree during his time with the Indiana Pacers. The Lakers were an okay defensive team the past two season, ranking 13th in defensive rating. The two years prior they ranked 30th.

Having a big like Davis can be huge in regard to defense. He spoke about wanting to win defensive player of the year before. James also noted how he was ready for the challenge during media day. A team with defense that can get back in transition with James, Davis, and shooters can be deadly.

There were some lackluster defensive performances last year, especially during the second half of the season. If improving the defense is a big priority for Vogel, it can pay big dividends during the regular season.

Stay tuned for more about Lakers training camp as it carries on.

Author: Kendrew

The Filipino guy

Leave a Reply