We hear the term, “It’s just Summer League,” all the time. We try not to overreact on everything. So let’s do our best not to do that.
There is hardly anything positive to take away from their 76-66 loss to the New York Knicks. The Lakers offense was as dry as the desert here as they only scored a whopping five points in the first quarter. They did come back from that deficit but could never get quite over the hump.
Jabari Brown scored 20 points in his first Summer League game to lead the Lakers in scoring. But the team shot only 31 percent from the field, while only going 3/16 (I can hear the glass shatter) from behind the arc. D’Angelo Russell, who didn’t go back at the end of the game, continued to struggle in terms of taking care of the ball (eight turnovers) and he lamented that in his postgame comments. The Lakers were booed by the Vegas fans after their slow start but Russell pointed out “that he didn’t hear them.”
Summer League head coach Mark Madsen defended Russell saying that everyone has a down game. He thought that giving his players the day off in Vegas “was probably a mistake.” Regardless, the team never got into a good rhythm on both ends of the floor. Madsen pointed out the 20 turnovers and that “it does not work at this level.” He pointed out that Julius Randle had “excellent playmaking” after a “slow start.” Coach went on to say that D’Angelo was a “little out of sorts” but praised his work ethic and emphasized that “he WILL be great.”
After an excellent two games, Jordan Clarkson didn’t have a great game as he finished with 13 points off 3 of 14 shooting. Clarkson pointed out the horrendous start and their lack of stops on defense. He also talked about the lack of ball movement (SIX assists overall by the team). Jordan thinks the chemistry is right around what he expected with D’Angelo Russell.
As for Julius Randle (seven points, 2/8 shooting), he was clearly frustrated after the game. He said he couldn’t get into a rhythm and that “he had to be better.” Randle said that he knew he could get to whatever spot he wanted on the floor but, as we all saw, he just couldn’t finish. He mentioned how “extremely frustrating” it was to get a rhythm going, especially since he’s playing in “five-minute spurts.” But Julius did say that he’ll work through it and that the goal was “the first game of the season.” He said he’s not worried about his physical state when he’s out playing so that’s definitely a good sign after having such a devastating injury.
Overall, though, not a good showing. We probably shouldn’t look into the rotations too much since the coaches tend to try to play everyone. But they did look lost once their offense broke down and that slow start really killed the team. They do get another chance on Wednesday and all you can ask for them is to get better.
Yes, they looked like the worst team ever on Monday. And some people are calling for D’Angelo Russell’s head already. Let’s also remember that this is only July. It’s Summer League. It’s really the offseason. Let’s all not get too heated.
Not sure why everyone is going nuts over a summer league game. Summer league is like a scrimmage where you can experiment with plays and evaluate the players’ skills. I’m sure the rooks will put up better stats once they’re in a real game with Kobe drawing the defensive attention and Roy protecting the rim. A true test for the rookies is how they’ll play off Kobe.
“A true test for the rookies is how they’ll play off Kobe” – you’re talking about a guy who played 41 games last 2 seasons (lthat’s less than JC…) and is coming back from 3 surgeries…
Count on Clarkson being a consistent NBA contributor, Kobe will remain Kobe, but contribution is a big “if” at this stage.
Andres Garcia says
Lot of thinking on the court going on right now. Players look confused on O. Hopefully reps clear that up but I wish they had simplified O for summer for my own personal happiness ????. Just wanted to feel good while watching Laker basketball.
The concern isn’t that Russell has had 3 bad games…It’s that he is slow compared to who he is playing against.Right now K.Marshall and Russell looks like the same player.Nance has no game at all except hops and hustle.Randle plays too close to the ground.These concerns are not going to change imo.
I don`t put too much importance on SL games for the players except a good showing by a FA might mean an invite to fall camp. But I continue to have doubts about the coaching,player development, exercise and med positions. The fact that no new hires were announced in these areas,where an upgrade was clearly needed, concerns me. Why isn`t there a full time shooting coach, and clear asst. coach responsibilities on both O and D?
81 Witness says
Not sure what Coach Scott and Madsen are thinking in trying to run a Princeton offense. You do not draft a PG @ #2 overall and take the ball out of his hands. You didn’t draft Derek Fisher, you drafted DeAngelo Russell! Did they not watch the failure that happened with the Mike Brown Lakers? Russell is clearly having a problem running this offense, do the coaches not understand?
Insanity – Repeating an action and expecting different results.
@ Gene Russell doesn’t look like Marshall. But if Marshall could shoot it would make him a drastically better player. Russell looks like a guy who can really play IMO. I was not excited about the pick until I saw him in summer league. He looks like a young Steve Nash. He is so much more advanced than I thought. Look up summer league of Harden, Curry, Durant, Rose and you will see that rookies look lost in SL.
That is what Nance is. And that is a good thing to have in your rotation as a big. You were expecting a star at 27?
Randle not jumping like Blake Griffin is your big concern. So because he will have less highlights you don’t want him? He goes by everyone defending him like he is the flash.All he needs to do is finish at the rim, which should come once the rust wears off and he stops trying to impress summer league people. He certainly had the touch in college. IMO summer league has made me feel better about the future. I can’t remember a time I was so impressed with Laker rookies.
The problem is Byron. He is not the right coach for this team. Madsen is running the show but Byron implemented the Princeton offense and calls the shots (or lack thereof).
Chobe Bryant says
I can’t believe how negative these comments are. It’s one single Summer League game. Sure, there are some concerns but whatever the system is being run, these guys will get better. We’ll figure this out collectively and play to the players’ strengths. We got coach Kobe as well, he won’t let ineptitude plague this squad.
81 Witness says
@Chobe concerned because I’ve seen this happen too often before. If u need your memory stoked, 0-12 Lakers preseason. Sure nothing to worry about.