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Lakers’ plans for LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis’ minutes, revealed

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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel provided crucial insight into how he plans to “script” the minutes for his three superstars — LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis — over the course of the 2021-22 NBA season.

“Day-to-day,” Vogel said after Lakers practice on Monday when asked how he plans to manage LeBron’s load. “We’ll be intelligent. H’s someone that … wants to be in there. Obviously, probably don’t want to have him play 82 games, but we’re not gonna pre-script X amount of nights off. We’re gonna take it as it comes throughout the year.”

Vogel said the Lakers will aim for the “34 to 36” minute range for the 19-year veteran, but that could change based on game situations. Vogel acknowledged that it could be detrimental for LeBron’s body to rest for extended stretches.

Before the Los Angeles head coach spoke to the media, James told reporters that he “didn’t do much basketball stuff” for the first two months of summer as he recovered from the high ankle sprain he suffered in March. He said he doesn’t plan on taking any games off and feels “worse” when he plays low minutes.

LeBron averaged a career-low 33.4 minutes per game in 2020-21.

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As for AD and Westbrook, Vogel placed their expected per-game minute load to fall in the mid-30s.

Vogel also provided an update on the Lakers’ status report for Tuesday’s season opener against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. In addition to the multiple-week injuries to Talen Horton-Tucker and Trevor Ariza, the Lakers will be without Wayne Ellington (Grade 1 hamstring strain) vs. Golden State.

Kendrick Nunn (ankle sprain) is questionable, while Malik Monk (groin strain) is probable.