The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their 2015-16 season with a matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves and No. 1 pick, Karl Anthony-Towns. After failing to reach the playoffs for two consecutive years, the Lakers were hoping to get their rebuilding process off on the right foot.
Despite a solid first half where the Lakers headed into halftime up by nine, the team completely lost its momentum in the fourth quarter. However, there were definitely some positives to take away from the game following the 112-111 loss to the Wolves.
Kobe Bryant praised second-year player Jordan Clarkson and the improvements he’s shown thus far in his career, via LakersNation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe impressed w/ Jordan Clarkson: “He’s been outstanding since training camp. Or really, since the end of last season.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 29, 2015
Clarkson finished the night with 14 points and he tacked on four rebounds to go along with three assists. The young guard made some timely baskets down the stretch in the fourth quarter, but his one miss at the free-throw line proved costly as the Lakers came up short at the buzzer.
As for his backcourt partner, D’Angelo Russell, the rookie struggled with plus/minus of -9. Nevertheless, it will take time for the guards to develop chemistry and figure out how to play with each other. At this point, it seems as though Bryant will start at the small forward position moving forward and if Clarkson and Russell can get on the same page, this team will surprise many this season.[divide]