Lakers News: Max Christie Gaining Confidence From First Opportunities To Close Games
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For a Los Angeles Lakers team that’s struggling to close out games, it’s hard to find many things to feel positive about, though Max Christie has become a welcome bright spot.

The rookie has shuffled between the parent team and their G League affiliate the South Bay Lakers, but when given an opportunity at the NBA level, Christie has delivered. His growth is an exciting development and he took another step as he was inserted into the closing lineup in the loss against the Sacramento Kings.

It was another new situation for Christie, who has been exposed to plenty of them recently, but he is relishing the opportunity to learn from them.

“I think it’s really all about learning,” Christie said. “Obviously Coach draws up great plays for us to execute and sometimes at the end of the day, you got to be able to make adjustments on the fly, especially when you’re in the game, it’s not always gonna go how you expect. A team might switch, they might blitz, they might do a bunch of different things that we don’t expect so that’s where experience comes in and lessons that you’ve been through before, you can adjust like that on the fly.

“We’re getting better at that as a team, these losses are good for us so we can get better and adjust for the future.”

As for closing the game, Christie said it’s done wonders for his confidence.

“Definitely a lot of confidence from my coaches and teammates trusting me to be out there in those type of crunchtime moments, especially in my rookie year. I can learn a lot of things just being out there and getting comfortable in those situations. But it’s definitely a confidence booster when I’m out there with those guys in that type of game.”

The young wing still has a long way to go, but he has already impressed teammates like Kendrick Nunn who believe he’s a special player. The Lakers need all the help they can get if they want to return to the playoffs, and Christie’s shaping up to be a useful piece in that endeavor.

Max Christie believes Lakers will learn from close losses

Los Angeles has largely struggled to close out games they should win, a major problem for a team who’s currently on the outside looking in of the postseason picture. However, Christie is staying even-keeled and believes he and the Lakers will figure things out.

“Yeah, we just got to learn how to finish out games like that. Especially a team like Sacramento coming into our house, that could’ve been a big win for us that we could’ve used. But at the end of the day, we’re just gonna learn from it, we’re gonna watch the film tomorrow and we’re gonna get better for it. All of this happens for a reason so we’ll get better as a team.”

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