The Lakers wrapped up their seventh preseason game tonight against the Utah Jazz as it was the second-to-last chance for fringe players like Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry and Elias Harris to show why they should make the team.
Kelly finally played in his first preseason game in the United States while Henry continued his impressive preseason with a thunderous dunk and showed an active presence on defense. However, the Lakers likely final cut, Marcus Landry, didn’t play tonight and Mike D’Antoni was asked why he didn’t see the floor after the Lakers 108-94 win:
You can only play so many,” D’Antoni told LakersNation.com reporter Serena Winters. “You know, I didn’t play Chris Kaman and didn’t play Kobe (laughs). The reason being if you play everyone, nobody gets a real shot. On Friday I’ll probably play Marcus and not one of the other guys. No other reason than that.”
Landry is averaging 13 minutes during the preseason while averaging just four points and one rebound in six of the seven preseason games. Lauded as the best shooter on the team by D’Antoni, Landry seems to be the classic “practice player” as he’s shooting a dismal 27.6 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Harris both saw the floor tonight and while both didn’t make much of an impact, Kelly looks to be in position to secure the final spot after a strong performance in China.
Like Harris, Landry is on a non-guaranteed contract and unless he shows something in the final preseason game on Friday against the Jazz, he’s likely to be the final cut. If he’s cut, Landry might look to go overseas or down to the D-League in hopes of catching on with a team that suffers an injury or likes what they’ve seen from him in limited time during the preseason.
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