LA ends preseason winless – .

LA ends preseason winless – .

Well, the season is doomed. The Lakers had six tries and lost all six chances to win a preseason game. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook clearly aren’t working as a threesome, and it’s time for Los Angeles to blow it up and rebuild it around Austin Reaves. The team’s 116-112 loss to the Sacramento Kings to end their exhibition list Thursday night was the final nail in the coffin.

It’s finish.

Alright, alright, maybe not that bad. Or even really close to him. Because despite their poor overall record (finishing the 0-6 preseason) and plenty of breakout breaks tonight, it could have been the team’s most comprehensive effort during those glorified practice sessions, and there was a lot to like from them about this one.

For starters, it was by far LeBron’s best game so far, as he racked up 19 points in just 18 minutes in the first half. After a brief scare when James grabbed his ankle on a ride and called for a time out before limping off the ground, he could more than walk if he got out, finishing with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in his most aggressive game. Again.

In a perhaps not unrelated development, it was also the best night of Westbrook’s preseason. But it wasn’t just a build-up of a LeBron lifting all of his teammates: Westbrook was active in passing lanes and as an attacking cutter, and pushing the pace in transition to generate shots for himself. at the edge and freeing external eyes for his teammates.

Westbrook finished the night with 18 points and 5 assists in 29 minutes.

The other story of the night – and, unexpectedly, the main story of the preseason – was the continued emergence of rookie wing Austin Reaves. Add any of the “it’s just preseason” warnings you want, but all signs are that this child can. to play. And, potentially, given all of the Lakers’ injuries, playing today.

Reaves finished with 5 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in 30 minutes, and did so keeping the ball moving on offense, defending hard and not being afraid to get up and shoot lasers in. LeBron’s corner. He might not play when this team is healthy, but there’s a real argument to be made that he deserves a real look as Talen Horton-Tucker and Trevor Ariza are sidelined. He played real minutes in a game in which the Lakers only used nine players for most of the night, and appears to have a legitimate shot to break the spin to start the season.

In short, this team is making real progress, even if it has not always wanted to from moment to moment watching these often frustrating and crowded exhibition matches. To show how little the Lakers cared about the outcome of this one, they placed all of their non-Reaves rotation players with just under four minutes to go in a still winnable game. They are clearly not that concerned about all of this. Until they are, we probably shouldn’t be either.

With the preseason over, the Lakers will now return home to Los Angeles and have the next four days to rest before their preseason opener on Tuesday, Oct. 19 against the Golden State Warriors.

We almost made it, everyone. We will meet over there.

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