After playing a very good game against the Pelicans, and then playing sloppy basketball against the Sixers and escaping with a win, it seemed like the Lakers were back on track tonight with a good overall game. The team as a whole shot 47% yet a dismal 26% on three point shots, but what shined throughout the entire game was their passing. The Lakers seemed to have grown accustomed to Luke Walton’s (Summer League) system, as they passed the ball around a lot and that led to more open shots.
The verdict is in.
D’Angelo Russell is too good to be playing in the summer league.
After struggling in the first half against both the Sixers and Pelicans, He started out today’s game with a bang. In the first two quarters he scored 22 points on seven out of ten field goals, with a crazy 91% true shooting percentage. But once the third quarter started he looked to score less and aimed to get his teammates involved, and ended the day with 26 points, five rebounds, and one assist making four out of seven threes. I think now everyone who has watched knows he’s too good to be playing. At this point the only reason he is even on the court is so he can learn the new system.
Yet again, Ivica Zubac had a solid game. He went full Zublocka on the Warriors and blocked two shots, and overall protected the rim quite nicely. He ended the night with nine points and showed off his range as he shot two midrange jump shots. He also made three of four free throws. If he can continue to shoot midrange shots and knock down free throws like he did today he then he will be a special player for the Lakers in the future. Zubac grabbed five rebounds today which is a downgrade from previous games but he has a good reason for not grabbing as many boards, that being Brandon Ingram.
Brandon ended up walking away with seven rebounds for the day and you can see why scouts like his rebounding potential. He would easily reach up and grab the ball after a shot and would use his giant wingspan to scoop it up. And while Brandon didn’t have a great night shooting as he missed all five of his shots, he ended up still scoring seven points as he went to the line and made seven out of nine free throws for the day.
Unlike yesterday, Larry Nance, Jr. didn’t play much and as such didn’t fill the box score again. He wasn’t bad but he didn’t put up 13/8/7/4 like Saturday’s game against the Sixers. He only played 17 minutes, but still had four rebounds and a steal. He only took one shot and missed but overall he wasn’t planning on getting much playing time as to let some bench guys play.
If you watched today’s game you could see that Moustapha Fall is tall, and he used that height to his advantage as he ended up blocking four shots . He didn’t grab many rebounds and ended the night with seven personal fouls. He scored six points, and overall was solid in today’s game.
Anthony Brown hasn’t been very predictable this summer league, as he had a bad shooting night and only made three out of eight field goals. While his shooting as been sub par, he has been terrific on the defensive end. He was again a lock down defender. If he can continue being terrific as a defender, and if he can start shooting well he can be a valuable bench player.
Jarvis Varnado had a quietly good game as he grabbed ten boards, blocked three shots and scored six points. It will be interesting to see if he continues his good play.
As Lakers fans we have been spoiled to winning and in turn the last three years have felt even worse than it should have. We haven’t watched many fun games the past three years but watching summer league has been fun. Watching the young players performing so well shows how well Luke Walton’s system will work during the regular season, and we aren’t even seeing the full product. As each game passes you can see them getting better and better and I think we will be in for a treat this year.
The Lakers will now be seeded appropriately in the Summer League tournament, likely resuming play on Thursday.