Heading into Summer League, all eyes were on Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie. After only appearing in 41 games in his rookie season, averaging 12.5 minutes a contest, it was going to be interesting to see if he was going to take a step heading into his sophomore year.
In three games at the Las Vegas Summer League, the 20-year-old averaged 19 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 45.7% from the field and 50% from 3 to earn Second Team All-Summer League honors. It became evident that Christie deserved at least a look heading into training camp and preseason.
Through five games of preseason, head coach Darvin Ham has given Christie extended run to prove his worth in the rotation. The former Michigan State Spartan talked about whether he’s gotten clarity on what his role will be heading into this season.
“I mean yeah, I’d say so. In these preseason games, especially when you have a lot of our guys back like last game when we had Bron and AR, I’m able to carve out my role a little bit and play out that role when we get to the regular season. A night like tonight, I was able to play a little bit more free and just do my thing, but I’m getting used to the switching of roles and stuff like that.”
The front office kept the door open for Christie to be a part of the rotation with seemingly only Austin Reaves and Cam Reddish having the ability to play the two-guard. Coming off a strong Summer League and offseason workouts, Christie feels more comfortable heading into his sophomore year.
“A lot more comfortable, for sure. I think a year of experience in this league is a lot, especially for me. I’ve been really observant, especially last year, and now learning how I can use that going into this year and just be more comfortable. I know the ins and outs a little bit more so it’s been a lot of fun. I feel a lot more comfortable out there so I’m having a good time playing with this team for sure.”
Christie has been trying to find his shooting stroke throughout the preseason. In his most recent performance on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks, he had 10 points, four rebounds on 4-of-10 from the field and 1-for-3 from the three in 25 minutes.
Head coach Darvin Ham, the front office and teammates have seen what the guard is capable of throughout the summer, now it is about translating it to the NBA level. With the preseason finale on Thursday, the expected Opening Night rotation will be showcased and it’ll be intriguing to see how many minutes are given to Christie.
Christie willing to take on whatever defensive assignment is asked of him
Christie has showcased his scoring on and off the ball, but Ham wants his players to get it done on the defensive end. Christie spoke to his confidence in taking whatever defensive assignment is given to him.
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