South Bay Lakers: Scott Machado leads team to playoff win

EL SEGUNDO, CA - MARCH 15: Scott Machado
EL SEGUNDO, CA - MARCH 15: Scott Machado /

The South Bay Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Blue in the first game of the postseason with Scott Machado leading the way.

The South Bay Lakers were the first franchise in G League history to be owned by an NBA team (Los Angeles Lakers). The 2017-18 season marks the teams return for its 11th season. The stage was set for round one in Chesapeake Energy Arena in front of 5,982 Blue’s fans. South Bay would have to win or go home.

South Bay fell to the sixth seed down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, so you would imagine that chances were they would falter in the playoffs playing the No. 3 seed Oklahoma City Blue. But no, that’s when Scott Machado is at his best when the chips are down. South Bay beat the No. 1 seed Blue 125-105 on Saturday to advance to the NBA G League Western Conference Semifinals.

The team’s “Engine” as head coach Coby Karl calls Machado, rose to the occasion leading the team with 27 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds. But one man does not make a championship team. Machado had a well-stocked inventory of talent at his disposal.

Five other Lakers scored in double figures.

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers /

Los Angeles Lakers

Travis Wear was assigned back to the team along with Thomas Bryant. Wear, now with the Lakers, pulled a huge amount of the weight as well scoring 21 points (8-16 FG, 5-10 from three-point range), while adding three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Bryant was the recipient of plenty of no-look passes and lobs up top, earning a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing ten rebounds in this one-and-done tournament. Andre Ingram ended the night second to Machado scoring 24 points shooting 60% from beyond the arc making six three-pointers.

Sharing point guard duties, Lakers two-way point guard Gary Payton II, had a fantastic well-rounded night scoring 19 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing eight assists. Shall we call Payton II and Machado a dynamic duo? James Southerland rounded out the double-figure earning Lakers with 11 points.

It was a night for South Bay winning by 20 points on the road, but Machado stole the show. Just listen to the announcer’s comment on his play style and progress throughout the game. They claimed he was the “Star of the Game.” Here are a few of the things they said, and remember they are not the South Bay Laker announcers.

“What a move, and he scores and draws a foul, Scott Machado at his best.”

“Scott Machado’s such a dynamic playmaker.”

“Man he is just Hello and Goodbye.”

“So leave it up to Machado, what a finish!”

“Machado! What a ball fake and he drives right down the middle.”

Here are Mac Pro’s (Machado) highlights from the game:

Postgame celebrations are always fun, enjoy this one:

This year, the G-League Playoffs are more like an NCAA Tournament. In the past, it was a best two out of three wins moves you to the next round, now it’s you win, or you go home until the final round, then it is best two out of three. Per the League, “The top two seeds in each conference will earn a bye into the second round.  The playoffs will begin with three single-elimination rounds before culminating with a best-of-three NBA G League Finals, which will be played in a one-one-one format.”

In other news, former South Bay point guard Josh Magette, playing with the Erie Bayhawks on a two-way contract, scored 18 points and dished nine assists to help lead his team past Round 1 as well. South Bay could play the Bayhawks in the finals if all goes well for both teams.

Next: Lakers Ivica Zubac sparks comeback...

Next up? The Reno Bighorns on the road, they are 3-1 against South Bay. The team will travel to Reno to face the Bighorns on Tuesday at 6 PT; the game will air on ESPNU. Player availability will be evaluated as the Lakers take on the Jazz on the same night in neighboring Utah.

After last night the field is down to eight teams. Also in the West, the Spurs will play the Vipers in a Texas showdown. In the East, the Bayhawks will play the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and the Westchester Knicks will take on Raptors 905. Good luck to South Bay as they grind their way through to the finals.