LOS ANGELES – It is evident that Anthony Davis has been crowned the new face of the Lakers, and with good reason. His preseason performance in the Lakers’ 108-97 loss to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday at Crypto.com arena just further proved why it is an appropriate designation. Davis led all scorers with 16 points to go along with his seven rebounds and five assists in his 19 minutes on the court.
“I see a level of focus that’s infectious,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “He’s the heart and soul of our team.”
“He wants that responsibility of being that guy that sets the tone on both sides of the ball,” Ham added.
Lakers’ Cam Reddish made his debut
Cam Reddish made his Lakers’ debut after agreeing to a two-year contract with Los Angeles for the veteran’s minimum according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Reddish was not available for the Lakers’ first four preseason games due to an ankle injury. The former 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft, tallied 10 points and five rebounds on 36.4 percent shooting in his first game as a Laker.
“He looks comfortable,” D’Angelo Russell commented. “Cam’s a guy, he just needs a little push. With the group of guys that we have in this locker room, I think it will continue to help him sustain what he’s working on.”
Lakers’ Christian Wood and Anthony Davis are adding versatility to the team’s defense
On the opposing side, it was the first outing for Bucks’ Giannis Antetokoumpo and newly signed Damian Lillard. The duo combined for 30 points in Milwaukee’s 108-97 win over the Lakers.
“Giannis is two handfuls two feet full,” said Ham. “He’s all that and a bag of chips for sure. I mean just a relentless motor.”
Ham shared in his postgame press conference how impressed he was by how Lakers’ forward/center Christian Wood handled his assignment of guarding Antetokoumpo.
“Not any easy task by any means but that said, Christian was up for the challenge,” Ham remarked.
He also stated how pertinent the versatility of Wood and Davis sharing the court will be to the team being able to protect the paint against bigger teams during the regular season.
“It just creates difficulties and it helps us protect our paint,” Ham said.
Lakers’ young core is gaining experience in the preseason
With several of the Lakers players sidelined including LeBron James, Ham gave many of the younger players on the roster an opportunity to get some quality minutes. One such player was Scottie Pippen Jr., who is in his second season with the Lakers. Pippen Jr. played a total of 25 minutes and put up nine points with seven assists, and four rebounds with three turnovers.
The Lakers will close out the preseason with the Phoenix Suns on Thursday at Crypto.com Arena.
Lakers’ Injury Updates
- Jarred Vanderbilt sat out for the fifth preseason game and will be re-evaluated on Friday according to Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.
- Gabe Vincent sat out for his second consecutive preseason game for “precautionary reasons.”
- Jalen Hood-Schifino also did not play after bumping his knee in the Lakers’ previous game against the Warriors. The team is closely monitoring his progress.