After a disappointing first game at the 2019 California Classic in Sacramento, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a win against the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors also lost their first game, playing against the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers found themselves at the wrong end of a 106-79 beatdown against the Miami Heat in the opener. The team’s No. 46 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Talen Horton-Tucker was absent from the matchup, leaving them made of G League players, undrafted rookies, and international prospects.
Now, the Lakers are looking for a bounce-back win against the Warriors, who kept their game much closer and lost by only four points.
The Warriors were largely supported by their players with NBA experience: Jacob Evans, Jimmer Fredette, and Damian Jones — all three of which scored double-digit points.
Jones and Evans both spent time with the Warriors during the 2018-19 NBA season. Jones was the Warriors starting center at the beginning of last season, often providing a high flying finale to a Draymond Green pass. He was sidelined from December to April after suffering a torn muscle.
Although the Lakers will need to slow down Jones to win, their issues against the Heat were all on the offensive side of the ball. The team shot a collective 24-for-68, with only five players shooting above the 40% mark.
One such player was Raptors 905 player, Jordan Howard. A 5’11” guard from Central Arkansas who went undrafted in the 2018 Draft, Howard had a very efficient 11 minutes, converting on 4/5 shots.
The Lakers also had help from Roscoe Allen, who was born in Hungary and played his college basketball at Stanford. He went undrafted three years ago and has spent time in many leagues across the world. He led the team with 13 points in 17 minutes while adding four rebounds without a single turnover. The 6’10” forward could be an interesting prospect as the Lakers still need a full NBA roster.
Along those lines, the start to the Lakers Summer League could be a worrisome analogy for the team’s free agency this summer. If the team is unable to secure Kawhi Leonard, many of these players who have yet to see time in an NBA game could join the roster as some names the Lakers have targeted are already gone.
Hopefully, one player amongst the Summer League roster will standout and be able to make a real contribution to the team. It would not be unprecedented to see both Allen and Howard receive increased minutes.