Lonnie Walker, Patrick Beverley New Starters in Lakers Preseason Loss. Plus, Westbrook "Bad Vibes" Alert?

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By Locked On Podcast Network and Brian Kamenetzky. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The Lakers are still experimenting with lineups, as the regular season draws close. Wednesday against Minnesota, Darvin Ham went small, starting Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV next to Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. No "traditional" center. So is that the five Ham will roll with on the 18th when the regular season begins? Should it be? Walker certainly did good work, scoring 12 points in 19 minutes before exiting with an ankle injury. (No word yet on how serious, though he did walk out under his own power.)

Ham has a ton of options, none of them obviously the right play. So with that in mind, how does he come up with the right one? Is Walker a better option than say, Austin Reaves? Than Juan Toscano-Anderson (who was sitting with a thigh bruise)? Walker was the only member of the supporting cast who played well on Wednesday, but fans hoping to see strong signs from James and Davis continue to be pleased. Both of LA's stars looked great, and Davis particularly played with the swagger of a guy who expects to put out MVP numbers. Will he? Don't know. But any hopes the Lakers have of elevating in the conference are dependent on a dominant Davis.

And what about Westbrook?

There was a moment in the first half when he seemed to resist huddling up to conference with the other four guys on the floor, as Beverley was bringing the group together. Was it a thing? Really hard to say. Probably not, even. But the optics were bad, and since everyone is basically looking for evidence that this whole thing is going to fall apart, even potentially before it has a chance to get going, it's not surprising the clip went pretty viral.

Westbrook wasn't playing well on Wednesday, and looked frustrated. But how has he fit in this preseason? Has he played well? What, exactly, does playing well mean for Westbrook in the context of this team, anyway? How hard are the Lakers working to elevate Russ back to something resembling his previous status?

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: The Lakers lose, but Davis and James look great.

SEGMENT 2: Is Lonnie Walker a good fit for the starting lineup?

SEGMENT 3: What's up with Russ? Evaluating his preseason through five games.

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