The best and worst players from Lakers first summer league stretch

Jul 5, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Javante McCoy (46) during the third quarter at the California Summer League at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Javante McCoy (46) during the third quarter at the California Summer League at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers came into the California Classic 2-0 after two very impressive outings blowing out the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors. The Lake Show finished their three games in four days marathon with a matchup against the Sacramento Kings, who were also sporting a 2-0 record.

After watching the players dominate with two 100-point games basically highlighting the scouting department and head coach Phil Handy as one of the few stable components of the franchise, this game looked as if they need a few days to really rest up for Las Vegas.

After a disjointed first half from both teams that ended in a 43-43 tie, an awful 11-point third quarter led to defeat as the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Kings 87-75. Yes, the Sacramento Kings are the champions of…the California Classic. For the record, they did not act like the Minnesota Timberwolves when they got out of the play-in tournament last season.

If there is anything that Lakers fans can take from this game is that there will be no quit in the Lakers in the regular season. It would have been easy for these young players to pack it up and go home. However, they fought back in the final quarter to pull the score to 76-75 with a chance to take the lead with 1:40 in the game. But a blown layup that led to a Keegan Murray 3-pointer put the game away.

Turnovers littered over the next few possessions powered a 14-2 Sacramento run to put the game to bed.

When Lake Show Life basically stated that Jay Huff should be shut down after dominating the summer league, we didn’t think that it would happen under the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. His absence was felt in the paint and the Kings players took advantage and the Lakers got a taste of their own medicine in physicality.

Bottom line…this post-game was about Phil Handy getting the Lakers to compete the entire game which is something that a $100 million roster couldn’t do for 25 minutes in a regular-season game last season with any consistency.

The best players on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers:

Javante McCoy:

Don’t sleep on this guy. He has something that a lot of rookies do not have going into the summer leagues…supreme confidence in his game.

This wasn’t the only time he went behind his back in this game! He has handles and is willing to freelance much like Jason Williams, who played for the Kings years ago. Javante McCoy led the Lakers with 15 points.

Vitto Brown:

One of the more stable and consistent players in the game. He showed the ability to knock down the long ball finishing with 13 points. Will he make the roster? Probably not. He’ll probably be back overseas, but the discipline that comes from those leagues was evident and he will eventually land somewhere down the line.

Paris Bass:

Lake Show Life would like to recommend the Lakers front office to sign this guy to a G-League contract as soon as possible. Bass was impressive in two of the three games in the classic by playing hard on both ends and putting the ball in the basket without plays called for him. That is required for Lakers players when 95 percent of the offense is predicated on LeBron James running the offense. Bass scored 13.

The worst players on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers:

The young players now understand that the NBA is a little bit different from college!

The Lakers fanbase tuned into their TV sets to see Scotty Pippen Jr., the son of Hall of Famer Scotty Pippen, Shareef O’Neal, the son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and the team’s second-round pick, Max Christie. Mama (In Shareef’s case…Dad!) said there would be days like these!

  • Pippen was held to five points on 2-10 shooting.
  • O’Neal had three points in three minutes.
  • Cole Swider…let’s just say he wasn’t as hot from 3-point land as the previous game.
  • Max Christie will be looking for his jumper (Or ordering one from Amazon!) when he gets back to LA!

All told these guys combined for 16 points. But this post-game report is just poking fun. These are good players that will contribute down the line.

The difference of this Lakers game: 

The foreshadowing of Lake Show Life strikes again! The Lakers failed to contain the featured player of the Kings like they did the Warriors.

We saw it after the Warriors game!

"Lakers Nation gets to see how the defense matches up against featured offensive players!The Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 EST. The Kings will feature their No. 4 overall pick, Keegan Murray who dropped 26 points and eight rebounds in Sacramento’s victory over these Warriors on Saturday 86-68. His shot looked good, knocking down 10-14 shots from the field which included 4-5 from the land of the extra point."

Keegan Murray pretty much had his way with the Lakers’ defense with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Defensive breakdowns allowed him clean looks from beyond the arc and he made the Lake Show pay every time.

To Max Christie’s credit, he held his own against the bigger Murray when they matched up but the Lakers better put together a weight program for Max. This won’t be the last time this summer he has to defend bigger players. But it would have been interesting to see what Keegan would have done if Jay Huff was back in the paint protecting the rim like he had been doing all weekend long.

Las Vegas is next.