Following the improved performance by the Lakers summer league squad, we here at Lake Show Life decided to take a look at who exceeded expectations and who left much to be desired.
First, we’ll look at Marcus Landry, the Lakers leading scorer over the five summer league games. Landry averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and shot 37.1% from 3-point range. In the five games, he never scored less than 14 points and was by far the most consistent player for the Lakers. He also was the most improved and possibly the most surprising player. While most expected him to be a prolific scorer, it was the manner in which he scored that surprised most Lakers fans.
Offensively, Landry was seen as a 3-point specialist prior to summer league action, and rightfully so. In the D-League last season, Of his 466 shot attempts in the D-League last year, 299 were from 3-point land, or 64% of his attempts. In his defense, he made 42.8% of those three pointers, which rightfully led to the expectation of being a marksman from deep. Pair that with him shooting just 56 free throws in 35 total games in the D-League last year and you pretty much knew what you were getting.
Well Landry shattered that mold, showing a versatile offensive game. While 35 of his 57 field goal attempts were still threes (61.4%), it was his ability to repeatedly get to the rim that surprised most people. He didn’t rely on or even resort to his 3-point shot, but was more interested in driving to the basket and getting a higher percentage shot. As a result, he shot 21 free throws in the five summer league games, a MUCH higher average per game than he did in the D-League. Essentially, Landry looked like a different player than the one we expected.
Landry looked like a seasoned veteran on the offensive end. He used his reputation as a 3-point shooter to get to the rim early when defenses were playing him tight. After establishing an ability to attack the rim, he’d often start hoisting 3-pointers. On a Lakers squad that could use any and all shooters possible, that is a big plus. One thing most encouraging for Lakers fans was his ability to pick and pop, which Mike D’Antoni will love.
On the defensive end, Landry was a very solid player as well. His ability to guard bigger players, such as power forwards, open up a world of possibilities for Landry. He did a sufficient job against the likes of John Henson and Draymond Green, both who are much bigger physically than Landry. If he can continue to do that in training camp and preseason games, paired with his pick-and-pop ability, Landry suddenly seems like a very viable option off the bench for the Lakers.
Following his great performance, I suspect Landry to be a lock for a training camp invite with a bit of an inside track to a roster spot considering his skill set and the Lakers needs mesh perfectly. With a couple roster spots still available, the Lakers could use a sharp-shooting small forward who could play the stretch four role. Don’t be surprised if Landry makes the roster come October/November.