The Lakers Summer League squad came out of the gates and stumbled in their opener at the California Classic. Getting shelled by the Miami Heat 106-79 after jumping out to an early double-digit lead, the Lakers have a lot of adjustments to make as they turn around and have another game tomorrow against the Warriors.
The Lakers 2019 Summer League group pales in comparison to the raw talent that appeared on previous rosters that took home the Vegas Summer League title in 2017 before picking up the runner-up in 2018. With almost an entirely new cast of characters, the Lakers clearly need to build some chemistry as the final score indicates.
Getting nearly torched by nearly 30 is an embarrassment, Summer League or not and the Lakers’ young squad has a lot of work to get to a remotely competitive state.
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The Good: Takeaways From The Lakers’ Summer League Loss to the Heat
Not too much. The Lakers as a whole looked like a team that had no clue how to play with one another. Sloppy passing and rushed shots littered the game and outside of an initial first burst out of the gates, they couldn’t muster much of an offensive threat.
Nick Perkins looked to be one of the bright spots as he established himself as a presence down low early on but quickly tapered off as the game went on. The recently promoted two-way player Zach Norvell Jr. had a relatively efficient night from the field and posted the strongest offensive game of any Laker despite a relatively quiet performance.
Rosco Allen also looked to be a solid piece at times and while he didn’t blow anyone away in the box score, he made a number of high IQ basketball plays and flashed a strong natural feel for the game. He shot the ball fairly well and looks to be a quality big body that can step out behind the three-point line and knock down shots with consistency.
The Bad: Takeaways From The Lakers’ Summer League Loss to the Heat
Where to begin. As mentioned above, the sloppy passing and lack of offensive cohesion was apparent once the initial burst of adrenaline wore off. Joe Young, expected to be one of the stronger players in Summer League, looked overmatched and tentative in his Laker debut – a far cry from the Joey Buckets who dominated the CBA with a notoriously quick trigger.
The Lakers have a small Summer League team and it showed as they were dominated on the glass and had little rim protection. In Summer League, where most of the players are young and struggle to shoot, you need to be able to protect the rim at an adequate level in order to force uncomfortable shots. The Lakers need to see some major improvement on that front if they want to have a chance to stay competitive, let alone win a game in Summer League.
On top of everything else, the Lakers could not score a basket. Period. They were supremely inefficient from the field and settled for a number of contested looks due to sloppy offensive sets or simply a lack of willingness to pass the basketball. The Lakers have talented players who can score but need to calm down and take better and higher percentage looks.