Report: Lakers to debut small-ball starting lineup tonight vs. Suns

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

In the Los Angeles Lakers’ first preseason game on Monday, head coach Darvin Ham went with Damian Jones as his starting center and Kendrick Nunn and Russell Westbrook as his starting backcourt.

But tonight versus the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers will make some tweaks to that starting lineup.

On Monday, Jones played a decent game, recording four rebounds and two blocked shots in 21 minutes, while Nunn showed flashes of who he used to be with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

Nunn missed all of the last regular season with a bone bruise in his knee. He is fully healthy now and poised to play a huge role for Los Angeles, whether he starts or plays more of a sixth-man role.

Patrick Beverley was acquired during the offseason in a trade that sent guard Talen Horton-Tucker and forward Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz. His annoying perimeter defense and spot-up 3-point shooting are two qualities the Lakers have badly needed.

Austin Reaves was one of their few positives last season, as the undrafted rookie established himself as a dependable multifaceted role player. He reportedly bulked up this summer, and if he improves his outside shooting, he could play a key role.

Ham has made it clear that defense will be the biggest key to a Lakers revival this season. Last season, they ranked 21st in defensive rating and had tons of trouble limiting teams to one shot.

The team feels Beverley can guard opposing wings, despite the fact he is listed at just 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds.

After tonight, the Lakers will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow evening. Both tonight’s and tomorrow night’s contests will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.