The guard, and all that surrounds him, is polarizing.
Previously, the team chose to shut down Brandon Ingram after a cramp scare seen in the team’s opening Summer League game against city rivals Los Angeles Clippers. He has led the Lakers to the summer-league finals thanks to double-doubles in three straight games, including three triple-doubles. Despite leaving in the third quarter, Ball managed to score 16 points and dish out 10 assists with no turnovers.
Swanigan almost finished with a triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
When the final buzzer finally sounded, the Lakers by a final count of 110-98. Kuzma is averaging 20.5 ppg in Summer League. Fellow sophomore Ivica Zubac looks like one of the most polished bigs in Vegas.
Clearly, the young man is very talented, and Lakers president Jeanie Buss recently said the team’s future is bright with him and the other young talent they’ve assembled. Twelve teams are projected to finish the season with more wins than the Lakers in the Western Conference, which would result in the team missing the postseason again. It has also led to a sped-up pace and a 3-point heavy attack. Kuzma was quoted saying, “I play with a chip on my shoulder” after being asked whether he should have been picked higher than 27 overall in the draft.
Lonzo Ball has a trainer working on his right leg during the second half. He got to wherever he wanted to go, whenever he wanted to get there. L.A. has gotten balanced scoring from all of their starters and are shooting lights out from three.
Zubac’s stats haven’t stood out, but he’s continued to display a refined skillset in the post. This team will be exciting and it starts with that point guard position.
With the huge caveat being that it was only summer league action, those at the top of the draft made quite a first impression. Only players with four or fewer years of National Basketball Association experience are eligible to sign two-way contracts, which can be a maximum of two seasons in length. And despite that incredibly small sample, he shot almost 10 percent better in games he started as opposed to games he came off of the bench.
“While some have questioned whether Rondo is the best fit for such a role, numerous young players on Rondo’s previous team, the Chicago Bulls, praised his leadership”. Although, Lakers fans may be less interested now. Boy has that changed quickly. But last week, Ball was giving free promotion to Nike, Adidas, and UA by wearing their sneakers-and it seems that was the entire point.
It’s been refreshing watching the Lakers two first-round picks develop chemistry, but they’ve both excelled individually as well. Lakers summer league coach Jud Buechler said it was too soon to tell if Ball would be available for the championship game. Over leagues played in Orlando, Salt Lake City and Vegas, numerous top 10 picks gave their teams plenty to feel good about before heading into the league’s quiet period for the next two months. Now we’re seeing it.
The pick-and-roll capability between Ball and Kuzma could create more space for Ingram to operate along the baseline and also on the perimeter.