The Young Lakers Look Poised to Have a Better Season
*Photo via USA Today
The Lakers are going to ask a lot of their young players, and from what they have shown in the NBA Summer League they look ready. The Lakers won their first two games, and D’Angelo Russell has led the way. Russell hit a long 3 for the win against the 76ers Saturday night.
Russell has gotten stronger, and looks more comfortable driving off of a screen. Russell has averaged 21 ppg , 7.5 rpg, and 5.5 apg. He has been more of a leader on the floor directing the offense too. He has also shown that he’s ready to have the ball in his hand when the game is on the line. Summer league or not, he did not hesitate in pulling the long three for the game winner.
*Photo via BR
Brandon Ingram has been almost equally as impressive. He’s shown flashes of brilliance on both ends of the court. He’s hit numerous pull up jumpers, and has looked surprisingly stronger than expected when driving to the basket. Ingram has averaged 9.5 ppg on eight of 21 shooting. He has also shown a skill that wasn’t talked about a lot during the draft, and that’s his shot blocking ability. He has not hit a three pointer yet, missing all five of his attempts, perhaps the only let down so far.
Larry Nance Jr. seemed to improve every game last season, and that hasn’t stopped. Nance is averaging 12 ppg and 8.5 rpg. He’s has also shown that he’s added a 3-point shot to his arsenal this year. Shooting 50 percent from three in summer league. If Nance can continue to work on his 3-point shot with his driving ability, he could become a very versatile 4. He showed his leaping ability with a highlight jam against the 76ers.
Ivica Zubac, the rookie from Serbia, has shown flashes that he could be a center of the future for the Lakers. He had 3 blocks in the first game vs. the Pelicans to go along with 11 points. He seems to get good position inside on offense, but he does need to catch up with the speed of the game. He gets lost with a lot of ball movement. This should come with time in the league, and he could fill a big void if Timofey Mozgov does not work out in the future.