The Los Angeles Lakers finally picked up their first win of the preseason on Sunday night by defeating the Golden State Warriors and there were plenty of positives coming out of the contest. Anthony Davis’ dominance was chief among them, but Matt Ryan was right there as well.
The Lakers brought in the sharpshooter just before camp and he showed exactly why on this night as he knocked down six 3-pointers, finishing with 20 points and leading many to suggest the Lakers might want to keep him around.
Perimeter shooting is a concern coming into this season for the Lakers and that is clearly Ryan’s forte. Afterward, Lakers coach Darvin Ham suggested that he may have earned himself a contract, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m so thrilled for the kid, I’m happy for him,” Ham said after the game. “He has a skill set that we need, you can never have too many shooters.
“He competed every day, he’s competed since he’s been here. We brought him in leading up to camp and he had some good moments, and had some great moments tonight knocking the ball down watching it go through the hoop, and hell he may have gotten himself a job tonight.”
The Lakers currently have 14 guaranteed contracts after adding point guard Dennis Schroder, meaning there is one open spot on the roster. In previous years, the team has chosen to keep that spot open, but perhaps Ryan can change their mind. Nonetheless, Ham continued on about Ryan, noting that sometimes players like him just need that right opportunity to prove they can be in the league.
“I’m thrilled to see him because a lot of times guys like that, only thing they need is an opportunity and the right mix with the right group of players to go along with their preparation that they’ve made and sky’s the limit for him,” Ham added. “I think he’s one of those types of players and it’s a day-by-day league, what have you done for me lately league so he just gotta keep stacking and putting those games together, but he was phenomenal tonight.”
As an undrafted player himself, Ham knows what it takes to grind and carve yourself out a spot with a team, so perhaps he is a bit sympathetic to a player like Ryan. But as he noted, you can never have enough shooting and if Ryan is able to put a couple more games together like his Sunday performance, the Lakers will have an extremely difficult decision to make.
Lakers’ Matt Ryan believes he can shoot “with the best of ’em”
For his part, Ryan fully believes in his skills as a shooter, and said as much following Sunday’s performance.
Ryan was thankful for the opportunity the Lakers have given him but added that he can “shoot with the best of ’em” and simply must stay ready for the next opportunity. Ryan would also relishing each opportunity he gets and treating it like it’s his last so he will keep working hard to be ready when that time comes.
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