The annual NBA Summer League got underway in Las Vegas this past week and unfortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers, they dropped their first two games to take them out of championship contention.
While Friday’s opening loss to the Phoenix Suns was a blowout, Sunday’s sudden death double-overtime loss against the Charlotte Hornets had fans on the edge of their seats with plenty of positives to take away from it.
One of those positives was the performance of Lakers two-way player Cole Swider, who has shot the ball extremely well this summer.
Swider is 17-for-30 from three so far in Summer League, good for 57% through five games.
When asked about his strong shooting so far, Swider detailed the mindset of a perimeter shooter that understands the flow of going on a shooting streak and coming back from a shooting slump.
“I try and take good ones,” Swider said. “I take a lot of shots and make a lot of shots when I workout and try to make everything game-like so when I get into a game it’s going well. I got it going right now. As a shooter you got to know like, you’re going to make some, you’re going to miss some and it’s all going to even out at the end of the day. I started off the season 3-for-25 at Syracuse. I came back and shot 41 percent so it goes in ebs and flows and it’s just part of being a shooter.”
The type of shooter Swider is a style many fans are familiar with. With Swider following the likes of Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson, the 6-foot-9-inch stretch forward highly values moving without the basketball to get into a rhythm and get 3-point shots off.
“My high school coach was big on moving without the ball. The offense was run through me in high school, especially my junior and senior year. I was getting face guarded every single game, so if I wasn’t moving, I wasn’t getting the ball, I wasn’t getting shots off. I think I just come from a high school system where it’s like that, and then Villanova and Syracuse are very good college systems where you got to move without the ball and especially this past year at Syracuse. There were plays being run for me, so I kind of got used to running without the ball.”
A fundamentally-sound game that Swider possess is credited to the smart work ethic and development he’s had since his high school years. In a league where many shooters come off pin-down actions and drive and kicks, Swider fits right in an environment where it is about moving without the basketball to be a high-caliber shooter.
Heading into Tuesday night’s Summer League game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Swider looks to follow up the offensive display he showed behind the arc by going 5-of-8 from distance on 62.5 percent shooting in the loss to the Hornets.
Thomas Bryant On Board To Have Key Role With The Lakers
It takes a special kind of player to successfully wear the Purple & Gold, but with the current Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it will take a unique supporting cast to surpass the disappointing outing of the 2021-22 season.
With former Washington Wizards’ center Thomas Bryant being one of the significant free-agent signings so far, the Lakers ook to put his shooting and rim-protection ability to good use to enhance the team on both ends of the floor.
The attitude Bryant carries is similar to what the other new young Lakers say about their expectation with their new role with L.A.
A willingness to do what is best for the team no matter if you are starting or not is the type of culture the Lakers needed to bounce back from a bad season such as last year, and it seems they have the right players to do so.
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