Avery Bradley didn't score a single point in Lakers debut. The box score had him 0-for-3 from the field with one rebound, zero assists and three fouls, yet the veteran guard was a plus-3 in a 123-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday at Chase Center in the preseason opener.
Much of that had to do with his defense on Warriors superstar point guard Steph Curry. Even in a preseason game, Bradley was seen hounding Curry right away in the first quarter.
“Steph gets his first touch of the ball and that guy is right under his chin,” Vogel said to reporters after the game, via The Athletic's Bill Oram. “That sets a tone for our defense. So, a few possessions later, Steph is supposed to bring it up and he’s advancing it with the pass. So he’s really changed what their look is like.”
Curry went 3-for-7 from the field in the first quarter and finished the game with 18 points over 18 minutes.
The Lakers started the preseason with Bradley in the starting lineup, along with shooting guard Danny Green, forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and JaVale McGee at center. They might not always start the game like that, but they very well could when facing the Warriors.
Whether playing for the Celtics or Clippers, Bradley seems to always have the assignment of following Curry on the court. The former two-time All-Defensive selection might have lost a step after recent injuries, but he still plays a feisty game and has plenty of strength for someone listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds.
As far as the Lakers' star duo of James and Davis goes, to no surprise, Magic Johnson approves of the pairing.
Laker Nation, I just watched Lebron and Anthony Davis put on a show in the 1st quarter of the Lakers vs. Warriors exhibition game. Watch out rest of the NBA!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 6, 2019
I think Lebron is going to average close to a triple double this season. His passing was on point and Anthony Davis was dominant in that 1st quarter.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 6, 2019
Davis scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his Lakers debut, while James added 15 points and eight assists.
After one preseason game, the Lakers' hype train already is running out of room. Bradley, however, is the one player hidden in the corner who the Warriors will have to watch closer than some might expect.