The Los Angeles Lakers officially started the journey to an 18th championship on Saturday night as the purple and gold played its first preseason game of the year. Los Angeles ultimately fell victim to the Golden State Warriors but the outcome did not matter. All that mattered was that Lakers basketball was back.
While the outcomes of preseason games do not matter, there is a lot that fans can learn about the team in the six games leading up to the 82-game season. It won’t paint an entire picture, but fans can start to see the broad strokes of what is to come in the regular season.
One of the biggest standouts from the Lakers’ first preseason game was second-year guard Max Christie. Christie scored 15 points in 25 minutes on 6-10 shooting while going 2-4 from three. If fans weren’t already hyped enough after seeing Christie on the court, head coach Darvin Ham made sure to keep the hype train rolling.
Darvin Ham heaps praise on Max Christie after Lakers preseason opener
The Lakers have had a track record for finding and developing either undrafted players or second-round picks. Fans were hopeful after the summer that Christie could be the next example of this success story and this is a great start for Christie.
Christie didn’t just put up good numbers on Saturday night, he looked the part of an NBA player. We have seen players take leaps like this in the past in their second season and there has been a noticeable jump for Christie.
It isn’t just this first preseason game, either. Christie was the best player for either team several times in the NBA Summer League. This is a young player who does not just want to be part of a title-contending team on the bench. This is someone who wants to be a big part of a title-contending team.
If Saturday night is any indication (with Ham’s comments in mind) then Christie will end up having a prominent role on the Lake Show this season.