Two days before their season opener and the Los Angeles Lakers were getting in some quality 5-on-5 scrimmage time at practice. With an 18-second shot clock, the Lakers have been working on getting more comfortable with their fast pace of play.
Head coach Luke Walton said rookie Lonzo Ball seemed to be knocking the rust off in his second day back, since getting cleared for full-court contact. Julius Randle was unable to participate in the full-court scrimmage, but he does expect to be ready for Thursday’s season opener.
In other positive injury news, Andrew Bogut (who has missed the majority of training camp with a groin injury) was finally cleared for full-court contact and Walton said he looked really impressive. Walton even said he had a flashback to the days with Bogut and the Golden State Warriors.
If Bogut is able to play Thursday, expect him in the rotation, as Walton said he does plan on playing him, especially with their matchup being against the Clippers. For more from practice, including from Randle about his injury and the starting lineup decisions, check out our quotes, notes and videos below.
Brandon Ingram on Bogut: “He makes a big difference, his defensive presence around the rim, a lot of blocked shots, on the offensive end he can pass the ball, he’s a smart guy, helps in our offense, runs plays, runs it fluidly, good to have another big around the rim…He makes the game a lot easier for us also.”
Randle on whether he cares if he starts or comes off the bench: “It’s not my decision, so I can’t tell you.”
Randle on how his role would be different coming off the bench: “I think my role would be the same, just stay aggressive, just lead out there with my energy and my effort.”
Randle on Bogut: “He looked great. There was a point where he was really protecting the rim and blocking everything that was coming so that’s definitely going to be a plus for us, obviously skilled, he can pass and knows how to play the game. I think he’s going to be a tremendous rim protector for us for sure.”
Walton on Brook Lopez: “He’s great. He’s got a mean side to him, which I like. He’s a great teammate, he likes to joke around, he’s very, very serious when it’s time to play basketball and it’s time to win and we’re competing in drills and stuff like that…It’s a nice overall personality with the team that we have, because he *loses his cool once in awhile, but for the most part he’s a calming force for our young guys and he’s got the skill to make that happen for us.”
– Josh Hart’s Achilles injury (which he suffered in Monday’s practice) has been updated as Achilles bursitis
– Walton said Randle looked ‘really good’ in half court 5-on-5, but there is a fear that even if Randle feels great, someone could rip his arm in the opposite direction, which could make the intercostal strain worse
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got hit in the elbow during yesterday’s practice and will get an MRI for a broken nose (but, he did a full practice today)
– Randle admittedly said he hasn’t played much alongside Brook Lopez in the starting unit, but thinks it will be a great combo with his driving ability and ability to go downhill.
*Curious what Brook ‘loses his cool’ to? Walton said it’s mostly referee stuff, but that he’s talked to him about it, and he’s been good since their talk