Even with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves sitting out, the Los Angeles Lakers picked up their second straight preseason win on Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings. D’Angelo Russell continued his outstanding preseason and led the way, but the Lakers also got strong contributions from role players like Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood.
Wood was the Lakers’ leading scorer off the bench, finishing with 13 points and four rebounds while knocking down 5-of-7 shots from the field. Known for his ability to stretch the floor, Wood actually did all of his damage from inside the 3-point line on this night, not even attempting a shot from deep.
Overall, Wood looked the most comfortable he has so far this preseason and the big man believes he is starting to find his rhythm with the Lakers.
“I think I’m starting to find my rhythm. I think I’m getting better every game,” the big man said after the Lakers win. “I’m in constant communication with D-Ham and Rob Pelinka and they told me I’m getting better each game.
“They told me he’s using different lineups each game to see what guys goes with who. I feel like the coaching staff is putting me in positions to find where my spots are on the floor and just try to attack so it’s been good offensively and defensively.”
Darvin Ham and the Lakers coaching staff has done a good job of experimenting with different lineups and rotations so far this preseason. As Wood said, they are trying to figure out which players fit best together and for Wood in particular, they are getting a better feel of where he operates best.
Between Wood, Davis and Jaxson Hayes, the Lakers have three bigs who all bring a different skillset and Ham has tried different lineups with each of them on floor as the lone big as well as being paired together and all have worked pretty well. It just further shows the depth of this team, which Wood believes is the deepest in the NBA.
“Like you said, you just emphasized it, the depth of the team is ridiculous,” Wood added. “I think we’re one of the deepest teams in the NBA, we just gotta keep at it. Everybody’s trying to figure each other out, but overall I think everybody’s playing well with each other.”
There is still plenty of room for the Lakers to grow and continue to build their chemistry together especially with the new players. But so far things have looked great and as Wood continues to get more comfortable, he will become an even bigger weapon for the team moving forward.
Christian Wood hopes to remain with Lakers long-term
Wood joined the Lakers on a two-year deal, but with a player option on the second season, he could hit free agency once again next summer. But as a local player, he is hopeful to remain with the Lakers for a long time.
“For sure. This is my hometown team,” Wood said. “I’m from Long Beach, I grew up watching this team, I grew up watching Kobe Bryant, so this is where I want to be long-term.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!