Lakers’ Big Three’s new mantra for pushing pace for offense to thrive — ‘You get it, go’

TEMECULA, Calif. — The day after the Los Angeles Lakers’ merciful end of last season, Russell Westbrook was asked about LeBron James and Anthony Davis repeatedly stating their intentions throughout the year to “let Russ be Russ.” striving for team success.

“Yes,” Westbrook bluntly replied during his exit interview with reporters, “but that wasn’t true.”

That approach was tweaked with the first week of training camp in the books, with James, Davis and Westbrook poised for their second season together.

Westbrook is empowered to get his, but so are James and Davis when it comes to getting theirs. No more fear of stepping on each other’s toes; If there’s something to play, then do it.

“I think the biggest thing was everyone was trying to be selfless and now everyone’s aggressive,” Davis said after Saturday’s practice at the Pechanga Reserve in front of about 200 invited residents of the reserve. “‘Russ, you get the point, go.’ ‘Bron, you get the point, go.’ I get it and go. Whoever. And that was very helpful to all of us.

Injuries limited the trio to 21 games together a season ago. Los Angeles, who started last season as the clear favorite to win the title, led 11-10 in those games.

“Obviously we’re altruistic teammates and we want to compete and do things [for our teammates]but at the same time we also have to get going,” Davis said. “And I think that was the biggest change we’ve wanted to see so far from the three of us, whoever gets it, let’s be aggressive because it’s going to open the ground for everyone others.

“When we all try to be altruistic and share the wealth, somehow the ball gets lost on the sidelines or we’re up against the shot clock. But if someone stays aggressive and Russ’s going downhill, Bron’s going downhill opens the floor. Because they’re aggressive where guys need to help out, they can spend it on shooters.

New coach Darvin Ham has put James, Davis and Westbrook in his favorite starting five during camp, along with guard Kendrick Nunn and center Damian Jones. He’s trying to maximize the potential of the three max players with a total of 35 All-Star appearances.

“We’ve got a three-man package, actually a playcall, that they’re going to thrive in that involves all three,” Ham said. “I’m looking forward to being at a very, very high level. And there are different nuances that they can play around with. …

“I trust all three of these guys.”

The Lakers struggled on Saturday, and in the portion open to reporters, James and Westbrook repeatedly dribbled down the lane on offense, with Ham’s four-of-one system giving room for the pair to find driving angles.

“These guys are still two of the most elite athletes in our league, who can both handle the ball at a high level and attack the paint and the rim at a high level,” Ham said.

Ham said he will be trying out different lineups before the regular season kicks off on the Oct. 18 road against the Golden State Warriors. Lonnie Walker (ankle) completed full contact training for the entirety of camp Saturday for the first time. Troy Brown Jr. remains restricted because of his back. Dennis Schroder, who has so far missed all camp after signing as a free agent last month, is expected to join the team in Las Vegas mid-week after resolving a visa issue that has held him back in his native Germany.

But James, Davis and Westbrook – all of whom Ham said he “definitely” wants to play at home against the Sacramento Kings in Monday’s preseason opener – want to play into the team’s plans no matter who they’re grouped with.

“Looking forward to it, man,” Ham said. “We have a lot of good parts to work with and combine. So it’s going to be a fun ride.” Lakers’ Big Three’s new mantra for pushing pace for offense to thrive — ‘You get it, go’

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