Lakers News: Cole Swider Discusses His Shooting & Defense In Promising California Classic Debut
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers started the Summer League on a high note, beating the Miami Heat 100-66 in Saturday’s California Classic opener.

Mac McClung, Paris Bass, Scotty Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider all scored in double digits, leading the way among the talented Lakers team. Swider lived up to his reputation as a dangerous sharpshooter, knocking down three 3-pointers on five attempts (60%) to put up 13 points and six rebounds at the end of the night.

“I think we worked hard all week,” Swider said after the game. “We were competitive all weekend and it showed out here tonight that we were able to translate that onto the court, which is not an easy thing to do.”

Swider managed to drill a 3-pointer off the dribble in addition to getting buckets in catch-and-shoot situations. The Syracuse alum hopes he’ll be able to show he can create his own shots during the Summer League.

“It’s gonna develop each and every day,” Swider said. “More and more comfortable I get out there, the more and more game experience I get, I think the better I’ll be able to show those aspects of my game.

“I think I’m more than catch-and-shooter. In the NBA you gotta be more than a catch-and-shoot guy.”

Swider liked his effort on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday. However, the 21-year-old wants to improve his defense as the summer goes on — particularly now that the draft process is over and he can spend more time in the gym.

“I think for me, it’s all about just getting better defensively that’s gonna be obviously one of the things I need to work on for sure,” he said. “Getting better, better my lateral quickness everything like that.”

Phil Handy eager to learn Darvin Ham’s system while leading Lakers in California Classic

Phil Handy serves as the lead coach during the two-game California Classic event, before Jordan Ott takes over ahead of the start of the Summer League in Las Vegas. Handy says the opportunity will allow him to learn head coach Darvin Ham’s new system.

“Man, I’m just, I’m here, just implementing,” Handy says. “Coach Ham has a new system. As an assistant coach, you know, I’m just trying to learn all the different nuances on both sides of the ball. So this is a great opportunity for me to get comfortable for what we do, offensively and defensively.

“This is just an opportunity for me, like I said, to get more comfortable with the system that Coach Ham is gonna put in for me as a coach to get a head start. So I’m comfortable teaching once we get into the regular season.”

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