Summer League has come and gone. The Lakers summer league coach Dan D’Antoni believes the Lakers could have won the whole tournament. According to Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell, D’Antoni said he rested his starters so that the bench could get more playing time. The Lakers had a 10-point lead against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors, but let it slip away in the second half as the Warriors went on a 16-4 run to erase the deficit.
For the Lakers, the bench was the weakness of the team. D’Antoni wanted to give the bench more playing time rather than reinsert the starters because the summer league is about developing players and seeing what they are capable of.
The starting five for the Lakers summer league team consisted of Lester Hudson, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Marcus Landry, Elias Harris and Robert Sacre. The starters were impressive and played well as a cohesive unit. Summer league action is known for players ball hogging and trying to impress team executives and GM’s, however this Lakers starting five sacrificed their own individual games for the greater good as a collective whole. The Lakers shared the ball, and played tough team defense.
CDR, an NBA vet who has played for the Nets, Bucks, and Mavericks, was a prime example of unselfishness. Douglas-Roberts who once averaged 17 ppg in a month for the Nets, distributed and facilitated on offense for the Lakers as he was second on the team with assists with nine. Douglass-Roberts used his length at 6-7 to be disruptive on defense and force turnovers and he had a plus/minus rating of +42.
Landry, was the most impressive to Lakers coaches. Landry led the team in scoring with 15.2 ppg, in 26.8 minutes, hitting 37.1 percent of his three-pointers. The D’Antoni brothers are quite familiar with Marcus as they held a roster spot for him when they coached the New York Knicks. Landry is described by the D’Antoni’s as a winner and the consummate professional.
Sacre continued to improve for the Lakers. The Lakers drafted him with the last pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The big man scored 8.6 points and 6.6 boards in five games, and hit 78.9-percent of his free throws. The Gonzaga product only hit 42-percent from the field and missed some easy opportunities down low. The Lakers like Sacre’s hard work ethic and positive attitude.
Harris was a pleasant surprise for the Lakers. Elias is a 6-8, 240 pounder who can flash to the rim with the dribble drive, and also hit the outsider jumper. As an undrafted free agent out of Gonzaga, Harris recorded 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in the summer league tournament. The Lakers would like to see more of Harris.
Hudson played well for the Lakers in summer league. Referred to as the “Brick House” by Lakers scouts for his physical strength as a point guard. Lester, averaged 12.2 points, 4.8 boards, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals in the tournament. The “Brick House” had the best all around performance for the Lakers in the summer league. Hudson shot 48.9-percent from the field, and 46.2-percent from threes. Lester played consistently tough defensively and brought intensity to the floor for the Lakers.
The Lakers have some good young talent in their system. Continued improvement and development is the key for these young players to make the Lakers roster in 2013-14. There is no doubt that one of these players can make the team and contribute next year for the Lakers.
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