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Nick Young expected to start in Lakers' preseason opener

Los Angeles LakersNick YoungSteve BlakePau GasolGolden State WarriorsStaples CenterJordan Hill

Good news for Nick Young and the Lakers -- his "tweaked ankle" is not serious.  Expect Young to start at shooting guard Saturday night as the Lakers open the preseason in Ontario against the Golden State Warriors.

"I should be ready to go tomorrow," said Young, who sat out practice Thursday.  "It happened Tuesday but it just kept lingering.  I kept trying to play on it."

Young went through a light practice Friday without any ill effects.

"I'm going to be out there," said Young of the preseason opener.

With Kobe Bryant sidelined while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, Young may start in place for the Lakers All-Star.

Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are not expected to play on Saturday given the Lakers' quick turnaround with a game at Staples Center on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.

Nash is "not going to play a back to back," said D'Antoni, who also said he'll sit Gasol.  "They should play together, so it will probably be Sunday."

While the Lakers would naturally prefer to win every game, even exhibitions, getting the roster healthy is the greater priority.

"Every coach would like to win," D'Antoni said.  "I'm not going to risk somebody's health or play them extra minutes just to try to win."

Along with Young at shooting guard, the Lakers coach said he'll go with veteran point guard Steve Blake instead of Nash.

"Steve Blake deserves to start," D'Antoni said.  "He was here last year and he's playing great.  That's where he started in the lineup and there's no reason to change it.

"We'll probably go with Wesley Johnson maybe at the small forward," D'Antoni said. "It'll probably be Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman [at power forward and center]."

The Lakers will play four preseason games before flying to China for two games in Beijing and Shanghai against the Warriors.

The regular season opener is on Oct. 29 at home against the Clippers.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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