As has been the case throughout the summer league “season” for the Lakers, team play both offensively and defensively highlighted their first two games. On Monday, it was much of the same as they led the entire second half on their way to a 77-65 victory over the rival Clippers.
Four Lakers finished in double figures, topped by Marcus Landry’s 16 point performance. His 2 for 8 shooting from behind the arc wasn’t pretty, but he attacked the rim all night and made all four of his two point field goals. Lester Hudson added 13 points of his own, including 3 three pointers, while also pulling down 9 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Both Chris Douglas-Roberts and Elias Harris added 12 points each of their own.
Douglas-Roberts was particularly impressive on the night. Billed by most as the most talented and most likely to make the Lakers, should a spot be open, CDR was underwhelming at best through the first two games. However, he came out active from the tip-off and, while his stats may not show it (4 assists and 2 rebounds), CDR was the catalyst on offense tonight. Numerous times – twice specifically to Robert Sacre – CDR created scoring opportunities that resulted in fouls and free throws for his teammate. On other occasions, he got teammates open shots that they couldn’t knock down. For CDR, this game couldn’t have come at a better time as he was flirting with falling out of contention for the competition for the Lakers roster.
The Lakers continued a great defensive effort tonight, forcing 16 turnovers and holding the Clippers to 27.3% from beyond the arc. They also held the Clippers to a true shooting percentage of 43.6%, which is not good, for those that are unfamiliar with the stat. Included in those stats was the 5-16 shooting performance from Reggie Bullock, who has been a scoring machine in the team’s prior two games.
Michael Snaer also continued his solid run through the summer league as a rookie, adding 8 points and 7 rebounds in just over 13 minutes of action. For a guard, Snaer has a great knack for getting rebounds and staying active defensively. Paired with Landry, who also has looked impressive in the summer league, and the Lakers could have themselves a bit of a conundrum in who to invite to training camp this fall. Landry, who came in as a three-point specialist, has excelled at getting to the rim and either finishing or drawing contact and getting to the line.
The Lakers, who played 14 guys in their opening game, shortened their rotation to 10 guys, with the starters playing 20+ minutes on the night. While most teams play their end-of-the-rotation guys later into summer league play, the Lakers appear to have more of an emphasis on winning.
After tonight, the Lakers “regular season” is done, leaving tournament play to go. The games aren’t determined yet, but the Lakers have a minimum of one and a maximum of six, depending on how well they play.