The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers broke in the Warriors' new arena - Chase Center - to open up their preseason.
Both teams had all of their stars in action, meaning we got our first look at Anthony Davis as a Laker and D'Angelo Russell as a Warrior. We also got a glimpse of LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green for the first time this season, even if it was just for limited minutes.
Davis was a monster in his debut, while Russell struggled a bit. Both Curry and James did exactly what you would expect them to but all-in-all, none of the stars played more than 20 minutes or stepped foot on the floor after halftime.
The end result: Lakers handled the Warriors 123-101.
For more on this preseason contest, we have you covered with takeaways below.
A taste of the Lakers offence
We heard LeBron James say at Lakers media day that he wanted the offence to run through Anthony Davis - it didn't take long for us to get our first taste of that.
Los Angeles rolled out a starting lineup that placed James at point guard and to no surprise he distributed the ball to perfection, getting A.D. involved early and often.
Davis looked like a man amongst boys in the first quarter, taking full advantage of Golden State's undersized frontcourt and lack of depth at the centre position. The new Laker didn't just score with ease, he was dunking everything. He caught a number of alley-oops and had one ferocious putback slam, finishing most of his attempts around the rim without much resistence.
This guy really threw down five dunks in his first quarter as a Laker. @AntDavis23 is something else.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 6, 2019
(📺: @SpectrumSN & TNT) pic.twitter.com/rlrlMSa8tw
Davis had 17 points in the first quarter shooting 7-for-11 from the field, but equally impressive was his seven rebounds with four coming on the offensive end. James had the offence looking like a well-oiled machine, dishing five assists in the first quarter. In the second quarter, with Davis on the bench, Rajon Rondo taking over the point guard role and James sliding to the forward position, we began to see LeBron attack.
15 PTS, 8 AST for LeBron James in the 1st half on @NBAonTNT! #LakeShow #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/m3mv13fOj8- NBA (@NBA) October 6, 2019
The Lakers went to James again and again and again, scoring 10 points in the frame. It gave us true look at what James spoke upon at media day, backing his words that the offence would run through Davis and when he was out, that's when LeBron would do his damage.
It was extremely entertaining to watch this duo operate together - as entertaining as it was hyped up to be all offseason.
Davis finished with an impressive 22 points (9-16 FG), 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal in just 19 minutes of playing time.
James finished with an equally as impressive 15 points (5-10 FG), eight assists, three rebounds and one steal in 18 minutes of playing time.
Anthony Davis wasn't the only player making his debut with a new team - D'Angelo Russell suited up as a member of the Warriors for his first time, too.
The first game with his new squad wasn't quite what A.D.'s was, but the Warriors' offence couldn't find a rhythm to start the contest as a whole. There were a lot of new faces in Golden State's rotation and at times, it looked like everyone was just trying to get theirs as opposed to running an actual offence.
Russell had four shot attempts in the first quarter - less than both Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans - going 1-for-4 from the field with just two points and one assist. The one assist did showcase how the Warriors can use Russell as an outlet to push the ball up the floor and try and find Curry as a spot-up shooter in transition, though.
D-Lo to Steph 💦 pic.twitter.com/3AVuMAQgg3- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 6, 2019
His shooting struggles continued in the second quarter going 1-for-5 from the field, missing another two 3-point attempts.
Curry did his part as the primary scorer going for 18 points shooting 5-for-11 from the field. He was obviously still the focal point of the offence and got his shots whenever he wanted. It's going to take some time for Russell to re-adjust as secondary scoring option after notching a career-high 21.1 points per game in leading the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs last season.
With the two stars each playing less than 20 minutes in this contest, we didn't see enough of these two on the court together to really get an idea of what their potential will be this season.
The rest of the rosters
There's only so much to be said about the stars when they only play 20 minutes. Let's talk about the rest of the Lakers and Warriors rosters.
Starting with the Lakers, they got very good minutes out of their starting centre JaVale McGee. He, like Davis, bullied Golden State's lacking frontcourt for a double-double of 10 points (5-5 FG) and 13 rebounds. Their backup centre Dwight Howard looked solid as a rebounder and rim protector in a limited role off the bench, playing hard for 18 mintues finishing with nine points and nine boards.
As for other key role players, Rajon Rondo orchastrated the second unit with four assists in 19 minutes of playing time. Danny Green did his job shooting 2-for-5 from the perimeter and Avery Bradley did exactly what he was brought in to do, picking up Curry full court from the very start of the game, playing intense defence whenever he was on the floor.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope couldn't find his shooting stroke in this contest and both Troy Daniels (14 points) and Alex Caruso (10 points, 6 assists) looked good in the second half, helping the Lakers hold their lead for the win.
As for the Warriors, it was a confusing first game together.
This was a roster where you were so used to seeing the same names, players and jerseys on the floor. Now, the Andre Iguodalas, Shaun Livingstons are gone and you'll find yourself looking around the court like "who are these guys?"
Late offseason addition Marquese Chriss was solid with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 14 minutes off the bench and certainly outplayed starting centre Omari Spellman, who couldn't get much going on either end of the floor.
With the Warriors lack of depth at the centre position due to the injuries of Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein, it was an encouraging performance from Chriss.
Rookie forward Eric Paschall looked tenative, as you would expect in his first game, but rookie guard Jordan Poole shot the ball with confidence, taking the role as the leading bench scorer with 17 points.
Jacob Evans was one of the first subs off the bench, scoring nine points. He and Damion Lee were firing away whenever they got the chance and Lee finished with eight points.
There's a ton of new guys that will fight for playing time on this Warriors roster and it's definitely something to monitor in each of their preseason games.
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