The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t have much money to make moves this offseason with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook eating up most of the team’s money. Due to that, the team has mostly relied on bringing in young players on cheap deals. If the Lakers are going to succeed this season, they have to hope some of these young players have breakout years.
Luckily, some are off to a great start in the preseason. Matt Ryan was just recently signed to the team a couple of weeks ago and he’s made the most of his time in Los Angeles. In the matchup against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, Ryan scored 20 points and made six of nine 3-pointers. Proving he can be a dependable shooter will go a long way in him getting a roster spot with the regular season starts. Head coach Darvin Ham said as much after the game.
“He may have gotten himself a job today,” Ham said of Ryan, via Mike Trudell of NBA.com.
There’s only a week left before the Lakers need to finalize their regular season roster. It’s looking possible that Ryan may force out another player. He’s clearly impressed the team early on.
Ryan Talks Shooting Streak
Ryan is already 25 and went undrafted in 2020. This is his first real chance at getting an NBA roster spot. He spent some of this offseason with the Boston Celtics but has appeared to gain much more traction with the Lakers. The team really needs shooting as they didn’t add many sharpshooters this offseason. Ryan has a real shot to earn a roster spot in the coming week. He knows that he hasn’t been consistent this preseason but believes that things are finally clicking for him.
“First couple games, I was a little off, I was seeing a bunch of shots hit the back rim and go in and out,” Ryan told Trudell. “So I knew I was shooting it well, and I just needed to keep shooting, and [I knew that] one of these games was gonna click for me. … I know I can shoot with the best of them and I’m gonna just keep getting better and staying ready for my opportunities.”
Ham Talks Lakers’ Preseason Run
With Sunday’s 124-121 win over the Warriors, the Lakers picked up their first preseason win since two seasons ago. It was also the first win of the Darvin Ham era. Preseason games don’t mean much but it shows that the team is at least further along than they were last year. Ham believes the Lakers are on the right path heading into the season.
“It’s been an interesting schedule, to say the least. But, we feel good about the plan that we set forth,” Ham said, via the Los Angeles Times. “And we’ve left ourselves some room within some points in the schedule where we can pivot one way or the other. And we feel good about where we are. Those last two games will be more regular-season like in terms of the rotation and who is available.
“I feel like we’re right on course with what we need to do.”