The Los Angeles Lakers are missing two major contributors in the NBA’s bubble in guards Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.
Bradley had spent much of the 2019-20 season playing in the Lakers’ starting lineup, but decided to opt out in joining the Lakers in Orlando, Fla. in order to protect his family from the novel coronavirus.
On Thursday afternoon, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel offered major insight into how he plans to fill the void when discussing his staring lineup entering Thursday night’s scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks.
He also indicated how he plans to handle the workload of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Thursday’s exhibition.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel says LAL is starting LeBron, AD, JaVale, Green and KCP in Avery Bradley’s spot for the scrimmage vs DAL. Says LeBron and AD will only play the first half.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 23, 2020
Bradley started 44 of the 49 games he played in this season. Prior to the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign, the guard alerted the Lakers that he would not be joining them to the bubble in Orlando, Fla.
He averaged 8.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game this season.
As for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who will be replacing Bradley in the starting lineup, he has averaged 9.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this season.
Surely, Caldwell-Pope will look to replace Bradley’s production on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
While the news about the starting lineup for tonight’s game is known, it is still unclear how much playing time newcomers Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith will get.
Surely, Vogel will try to get them on the floor early and often so that they can start to build a strong rapport with their new teammates.
He may also want to see how both players perform in the event that either has to replace Caldwell-Pope in the starting lineup at any point going forward.