Kendrick Nunn returned to the floor for the first time in a year in Monday’s 105-75 loss to the Sacramento Kings, which opened the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason.
Although the score looks alarming at first glance, the clash was a game of two halves with L.A. leading 46-41 at the break. Following the intermission, head coach Darvin Ham sat LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley for the remaining of the game.
But Nunn opened both halves in the starting lineup, spending over 20 minutes in play as one of only four Lakers. And the 27-year-old said he felt good being back on the floor after missing last year with a bone bruise in his knee.
“Getting my legs back under me, my speed, my strength, I felt real good out there,” Nunn said.
Nunn ended up with nine points, two rebounds and an assist, shooting 57.1% from the field. He also made one of his three 3-point attempts on a tough shooting night for the Lakers.
And the former Miami Heat guard said he can “definitely” see himself becoming one of the Purple and Gold’s leading shooters.
“I mean, that’s who I am as a player, whatever team I’m on,” Nunn said. “That’s one of my roles. That’s my strength.”
Nunn thought he fit well besides James and Davis in the starting lineup. Despite the Lakers not having a lot of shooters on the roster, the guard also praised L.A.’s spacing when Ham played all his stars in the first half.
“Giving guys some space, and obviously, we didn’t play as much tonight, but as the season goes on, you’ll see it more,” he said.
“I think the spacing was good tonight to start off. Then my second group to start the second half was a little stagnant, I would say. We didn’t get out there defensively. But first group when I was in, that space was pretty, pretty uptight, and the pace was good as well.”
Ham happy with what he saw from Lakers’ Big 3 in first half
Coach Ham said he liked the way the Lakers played in the first half with all James, Davis, and Westbrook on the floor — particularly on the defensive end,
“I love what I saw. It was good,” Ham said.
“That first half was really, really, really, really, really good. And that, albeit LeBron [James] not having a good shooting night. But we’ll get better. We’ll keep getting better for sure.”
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