NBA Summer League Diaries: Day 5

So it’s day five here at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and the Lakers still haven’t won a game. But, on the bright side, they looked much better tonight than they did yesterday. Then again, they lost by 50 points yesterday so unless they all went out and had coronaries on the court they weren’t going to look worse.

Tonight they took on the San Antonio Spurs’ Summer League team and Kawhi Leonard. I say this because Leonard is far too talented to be on the Summer League roster, and it was painfully obvious today. Leonard torched the Lakers repeatedly throughout the game, scoring a game-high 27 points. Ultimately San Antonio won 92-81, and the Lakers fell to 0-3 on the week.

But there’s some silver lining to this loss. The team looked far improved, and it was easily the best performance of the week thus far. The spacing on the floor was vastly improved, as was the passing. For the first three games the Lakers couldn’t shoot the ball fast enough, but they did a better job of finding the open man and getting good looks. The brightest spot was point guard Darius Morris, who has had a history of forcing shots. He played under control against the Spurs, and it resulted in higher percentage shots. He finished with a team-high 24 points on 9-9 shooting. Not bad.

So the Lakers will finish things off this Thursday when they take on the Clippers. You remember the Clippers, right? That pesky team that plays in the same building as the Lakers but seem to matter less than any joke George Lopez ever told.

Actually, speaking of the Clippers, I saw a fan wearing a Clippers Playoffs 2012 shirt today. I thought that was adorable.

Okay, I got sidetracked there for a second. Back to the things that matter. So I think the Lakers have some things to build upon today, and I think we’ve seen what they’re capable when they’re not chucking the ball like it’s a bodily function.

So, now to the rest of the Summer League happenings. Gregg Popovich made an appearance today, sporting a rather grizzly-esque beard. I felt like going over there and pestering him until he threw something at me, but thoughts of ‘professionalism’ and ‘don’t turn your career into Chernobyl’ ended up occupying the generally hollow portions of my brain.

Now for every entry this week I’ve had a quote of the day. Most of them have nothing to do with basketball, or really anything you would ever care about in general. My quote for today actually came from former Laker Luke Walton. You remember him, right? He was the one who I really liked but most fans despised more than a root canal. Anyways, Luke was at the arena today catching some of the Summer League action when we approached him for an interview. His response was quite candid.

“You do know I’m not a Laker anymore, right?”

Wait. Luke Walton was a Laker? (Just kidding, Luke. I couldn’t resist that one.)

Apparently Luke thinks we’re a real amateur outfit over here. Then again, I spent last night writing more about my hair and lack of testosterone than basketball, so I guess I could see that.

Well I’ve managed to ramble on for over 500 words. I’m sure nobody is still reading it at this point. This is as good of a time as any to stop. Be sure to come back tomorrow. We’re headed over to the strip to irritate fans. I’m sure it will be thrilling.

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