Lakers Summer League: Scotty Pippen Jr. Says Defensive Intensity Was Focus Against Heat
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a strong start during the California Classic, blowing out the Miami Heat 100-66.

The contest was never close as the Lakers got out to a big lead in the first quarter and never let up. Mac McClung led the team in scoring with 17 points off the bench, while Jay Huff dominated both ends of the floor with his shooting and rim protection.

Scotty Pippen Jr. had a solid debut, scoring 12 points and finding his groove in the second half. Pippen was happy with the win and acknowledged that Summer League head coach Phil Handy told the team to focus on the defense.

“Coach Handy, he emphasized coming out there playing hard defensively, competing,” Pippen said. “As long as we take good shoots he’s happy with them so we just knew picking up our defensive intensity was the main focus of this game.”

As for Pippen, he drew the start at point guard and noted he was primarily focused on involving his teammates and getting them to the right spots. “My main focus was playmaking, being ready to score whenever, and just reading the defense. Making sure guys were in the right spots and being a coach on the floor.”

Known more for his scoring, Pippen handled lead guard duties relatively well though he did look more comfortable in the second half where he looked for his shot more. Defensively, he was active chasing players around screens and did well at the point of attack.

It was an encouraging performance for Pippen and the rest of the roster who already look like a cohesive unit despite just a week of practices. Hopefully they can build on this momentum when they take on the Golden State Warriors next.

Scotty Pippen Jr. on how his offense can translate

Pippen is a good shooter who is able to find space for his shot against bigger defenders. In fact, he highlighted that facet of his game when asked what skills will be able to translate to the NBA.

“I just think my ability to create space on offense, getting defenders off balance where they have to jump where they have to foul me. It’s been something I’ve been naturally good at and I’ve picked up more tricks but hopefully I’m showing that it can translate.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Michael Beasley Shines Against Suns, Putting Himself In Position For More Opportunities

When the Los Angeles Lakers signed Michael Beasley, he was touted as a versatile playmaker and option for center in lineups when the team went small. Beasley’s time with…

Three Reasons The Lakers Are Doing Better Than You Think

Many Los Angeles Lakers fans have been quick to panic over the state of their 8-7 team. However, the Lakers are actually right…

Thunder vs. Lakers Game Preview & TV Info: Dwight Howard Out For Start Of Back-To-Back

The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to stay in the win column after already securing the top seed in the Western…

Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Addresses Misses At Rim And Explains How L.A. Deals With Pressure

Russell Westbrook’s debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers has been far from ideal with the 2017 NBA MVP finding himself…