Lessons from the Lakers summer league win over the Heat

Jul 2, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Scotty Pippen Jr. (1) shoots against Miami Heat guard Mychal Mulder (12) during the first quarter at the California Summer League at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Scotty Pippen Jr. (1) shoots against Miami Heat guard Mychal Mulder (12) during the first quarter at the California Summer League at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Lakers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The good, the bad and current of Game one of the Summer League

Many readers will be pleasantly surprised that Lake Show Life brought back the Lake Show Life Lessons series for the summer league. The staff is happy too. Why? There is actually quality basketball being played with some level of structure.

It took less than 30 seconds to see that Darvin Ham’s vision and culture will be seen this year. The Lakers summer league team showed more two-way basketball in this game than last year’s roster showed in six preseason games.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:  

Enjoy Phil Handy while you can Lakers fans because Phil Handy can coach!

No one on the Lake Show Life staff wanted Phil Handy to have a chance to turn around the Lakers season last year more than this writer. He is the best player development coach in the world and it is not even close. It was on full display in this game.

On offense, the Lakers were running half-court sets that haven’t occurred maybe since the bubble season. They put the ball in the hands of Scotty Pippen Jr. and all five players were moving on offense. There was real cuts to the basket and low and behold the cutters were rewarded…


On defense, the Lakers were all over the Heat in the first half. Miami shot 20.5% in the first 20 minutes. Jay Huff (Much more on him later!) provided rim protection that intimidated anyone that was looking for layups. Either the shot was blocked or there were misses from looking over their shoulders. To put this in perspective, one Heat player actually pinned his own layup to the backboard.

Cole Swider can shoot!

Lake Show Life will be doing breakdowns of the young players. Swider scored 10 points at the drop of a hat in the final quarter. The Lakers need to run plays to get his shot off from the perimeter. He’s that good.

The Lakers never let up despite Miami’s bad play!

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make the play-in tournament because of injuries. That’s a weak excuse. The reason the Lakers missed out was that they lost to the bottom feeders of the NBA. Just look at the losses…

  • They lost to the Sacramento Kings multiple times…
  • They lost to the OKC Thunder twice…
  • How about a loss to the Houston Rockets?
  • Being swept by the New Orleans Pelicans…
  • Couple of losses to the cross-the-hall Clippers without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard?
  • Okay, the point is clear!

Most of these losses were due to a lack of focus. As dominant as the Lakers were defensively in the first half, it was taken to another level in the second. Handy made sure that there was no lapse in energy and effort, especially on the defensive end.

Tom Tolbert was doing color analysis… 

Back in the day, Tom Tolbert was one of the most trash-talking announcers in the game. He disappeared for a while but in a game that was a serious blowout, he made it interesting enough to finish watching the game past the first quarter.

A new rule might be coming to the NBA soon. 

The Miami Heat tried to take a foul to stop a Lakers fast break. The Lakers were awarded a free throw. The rule is already in effect in the G-League but not in the NBA. It might be a small thing now, but this is a rule that needs to be brought up and implemented ASAP.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win (Boy are we nitpicking here!!!):  

The rebounding needs work!

The Lakers gave up way too many offensive rebounds in this game. Really, this is the only thing that Miami can call a positive on their end. The only reason it didn’t hurt the Lakers is that the Heat could not score the basketball to save their lives.

The perimeter defense is undisciplined.

Sure this is hard to believe considering the Lakers won by 100 points, but this series is about how the Lakers can improve. The Miami Heat on multiple occasions ran their offense and got the shots they wanted. Whether it be driving to the basket for layups or a drive and kick, the defensive breakdowns were evident. Again, Miami just did not capitalize.

But even this is a good thing. Phil Handy has film to coach his squad to get better. Like nothing went wrong in this game!

The current progress up to this point:

The Los Angeles Lakers have the best scouting team and G-League development in the NBA!

The South Bay Lakers were on fire in this game showing that they were head and shoulders above Miami when it comes to experience and talent level. Sure the Los Angeles Lakers looked like they were disorganized last season, but the South Bay Lakers have some ballers on this summer league roster.

No time like the present right? Hit the purple bar and let’s take a look at how the South Bay bunch looked in this game!