NBA Summer League: Lakers vs. Knicks Preview

Two games are in the books with only one remaining for the Los Angeles Lakers in their Las Vegas NBA Summer League schedule before tournament play begins. They split their first two contests, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves before defeating the Philadelphia 76ers.

Up next is the New York Knicks and No. 4 overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, who tallied 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting in a 78-73 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Porzingis will add to the list of intriguing matchups we’ve already seen with the Lakers in their summer action, as he should see some time matched up with Julius Randle — who will be back in the starting lineup after sitting out the last game — or a Tarik Black/Robert Upshaw combination if the Knicks put him at center again.

We will also get to observe The 19th overall pick, Jerian Grant, matched up against D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. Grant, like both Laker starting guards, possesses excellent size at the point guard position, standing 6-foot-4. Despite his shooting struggles in New York’s first game, Grant made an impact in several ways by scoring 12 points, while snatching 5 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.

At the other guard position is Langston Galloway, who was a pleasant surprise for the Knicks last season, coming out of nowhere to have a solid rookie campaign. His efforts were one of the only bright spots in a dreary season for New York, earning him NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Second-year man Cleanthony Early was the top contributor for the Knicks on Saturday, pouring in 18 points, 5 boards and 3 assists in 25 minutes of play. Early saw extremely limited playing time last season, but should provide an intriguing matchup against Anthony Brown if he is able to duplicate his first performance.

Rounding out the starting five for New York is Travis Wear. Some fans may recognize his abilities from his time at UCLA. Wear doesn’t offer much on the offensive end. Where he’ll make his most significant contribution is on the glass, as evidenced by his 10 rebounds in 28 minutes against San Antonio.

The Lakers will need to improve upon their offensive woes against Philadelphia. They shot just 39.3 percent and only had 5 assists as a team. Luckily for them, the Sixers shot an atrocious 28.6 percent.

Jabari Brown has been cleared to play after suffering an eye injury in practice recently, so that could be the offensive spark that the Lakers need.

Either way, it should be a fun game filled with several interesting matchups, scheduled to tip-off at 5:30 PST.

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