News 'n Views - July 2016: What’s Brandon Ingram’s Ceiling?
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lakersfreak
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:03 am    Post subject:

Lakers stay undefeated with comeback win against Sixers
by Dillon Hiser - lakersoutsiders.com

ICE. IN. HIS. VEINS. Okay, recap over.

Just Kidding.

The Lakers LVSL squad improved to 2-0 with a sloppy, disastrous, invigorating, action-packed come from behind 70-69 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday night. With all the hype surrounding the match up of the top two picks in the draft, Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, the Thomas & Mack Center gave off nearly a playoff game feel.

Through basically three quarters of basketball, the Lakers struggled mightily and were hard to watch. It was a back-to-back and that showed. Shots weren’t falling, the team had numerous careless turnovers, but the far more imperative thing was they never stopped fighting.

The team ended up shooting a meager 36.2 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from distance. Lazy passes were flying everywhere for both teams which accounted for most of the Lakers 18 turnovers (yikes).

The real momentum of the game shifted with one player – second year forward Larry Nance, Jr. He was absolutely everywhere on the court and the Lakers faithful that were on hand in Vegas took notice with multiple “LAR-RY” chants and even an “MVP” chant erupting in the arena.

Nance, Jr changed the game with a few dunks that could qualify as rim abuse during a 11-2 run to finish the third quarter. His stat line flawlessly resembled the impact on the game Nance had, as he poured in 13 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, and four blocked shots in 35 minutes of action.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:04 am    Post subject:

Larry Nance Jr. Takes Flight Twice vs 76ers (Video)
by Cody Williams - lakeshowlife.com

Larry Nance Jr. dropped the hammer not once, but twice against the 76ers in the Lakers second game at 2016 NBA Summer League

Excitement certainly wasn’t at a premium for the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night as they took the floor for their second contest at 2016 NBA Summer League, a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. That of course was due to the last-second heroics of D’Angelo Russell—but Larry Nance Jr. was definitely able to make his presence known earlier in the contest.

Coming into Las Vegas for Summer League, one of the things that many Lakers fans were looking forward to was Nance and his high-flying antics. Those weren’t really on display in Game 1 out in the desert, but he made sure that they were on Saturday.

As things started to pick up for both teams in the third quarter and as the Lakers were in the midst of their comeback, Russell drew in the defense and Nance recognized the lane. The point guard found Nance on the cut and hit him with a nice pass. The second-year forward knew what to do from there as he skied for a thunderous jam:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject:

Ivica Zubac is giving fans reason to learn his name.
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

One dunk isn’t enough to kill Los Angeles’ promising second round pick.

From the second the ping pong balls revealed that the Lakers would receive the second-overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft , the team's second round pick was (understandably) seen as an afterthought. After the Lakers first game of Las Vegas Summer League, D'Angelo Russell made it clear he doesn't think that should be the case.

"Brandon Ingram and Big Z, man. Don't leave that guy out," Russell said when he was only asked for his thoughts on the former. "They both looked really good. I was very impressed, they showed me a lot. The big fella [pauses, almost in awe] he's really good, and Brandon compliments it."

Hearing that a team's second-overall pick "compliments" their 32nd-overall selection might be one of the more unexpected sound bites anyone can hear at a summer league game, but Ivica Zubac has proven plenty worthy of the praise. The seven-footer's high level of play has his teammates wanting to ensure everyone remembers his name, so much so that Larry Nance, Jr. initially played dumb about a question when one reporter became the latest of many who’ve mispronounced it.

"I'm sorry? Oh Zoo-bots. Like a 'T-S'," corrected Nance, Jr. phoenetically. "I'm a huge fan, I really am. He's a big body down there, knows how to play physical. Rim protection. I love that. Me and him were kind of clogging the paint there for a little bit, and that's how we got our lead, with those defensive stops. That's a guy that I love playing alongside.”

The reasons why that’s true are easy to spot. Zubac’s rim protection has been one of the most notable aspects of the 2-0 Lakers’ summer league.

Most expected D’Angelo Russell to dominate (two 20-point games and one ice-in-his-veins game winner, check). Larry Nance, Jr. was expected to use his endless activity to end up all over the highlight reels (check).

However, few expected Zubac to build such an effective wall around the basket so quickly:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:09 am    Post subject:

After Game Videos - Summer League vs Sixers
by lakersnation.com

D'Angelo Russell Hits Buzzer Beater Game-Winner, Teammates React!

D'Angelo Russell After His Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater

Larry Nance Jr. On Lakers Fans: 'They Loved The Fight'

Ivica Zubac After Jerami Grant Dunked On Him: 'I Died A Little Bit'

Brandon Ingram On Pressures Of No. 1 vs. No. 2 Pick

Jesse Mermuys On D'Angelo Russell: 'He Has A Chance To Be Special'
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:10 am    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak: ‘Not Quite Sure What To Expect’ From Lakers This Season
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers came into this summer with a lot of hope that they would be able to land a star player in free agency. Unfortunately that was not the case, but that didn’t stop General Manager Mitch Kupchak and co. from landing a couple of very good veteran players that improved the roster.

The Lakers signed center Timofey Mozgov and wing Luol Deng and also traded for veteran point guard Jose Calderon from the Chicago Bulls.

All of those players are veterans who should help the Lakers both on and off the court, something Kupchak alluded to in speaking with Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:

“We got guys that clearly we thought could help us win games,” Kupchak told Southern California News Group. “In a secondary fashion, they can help our younger players, mentor them and coach them on the court and be role models.”

Even with the new veteran additions as well as the plethora of young talent the Lakers have, Kupchak remains unsure of what to expect from the Lakers this season:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject:

How long has it been since a Lakers player made a difficult game winning shot?

If I remember it was a guy named Kobe in his prime.

You see a little bit of Kobe in DLO and Ingram. Wish Kobe was around to
mentor these guys.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject:

Why Lakers fans should cherish the team’s bright future
by Mike Lucas - lakersoutsiders.com

Let me start by saying this; I’m not a Lakers fan, but I wish I were.

It’s not fun to admit, but I’m a proud New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets fan. As I sit here writing this from my apartment in Tennessee, I can see my 2002-2003 Nets Eastern Conference Championship Banner and my Game 7 towel from Brooklyn’s 2014 season-ending loss to Toronto.

As the NBA draft recedes in our rearview mirror and the chaotic frenzy that is the first week of free agency cools down, it’s time to focus our attention on the upcoming season. As a Nets fan, there’s not much to get excited about.

I’m pleased with all the team’s offseason acquisitions. All their signings have been low-risk, high-reward deals at pretty good market value. However, I’d be a damn fool to think Brooklyn has any chance at even competing with the better teams in the Eastern Conference next year barring any major changes, and we’ll more likely than not finish near the bottom of the conference.

Losing is one thing, but losing without the benefit of a high draft pick is another. The Celtics own the right to swap draft positions with the Nets in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft, and Boston owns the Nets’ 2018 1st rounder. No matter how the team’s front office tries to spin the situation, the reality is there won’t be any superstar prospects coming through the Nets ranks anytime soon.

It’s boring to be a Nets fan these days, and that’s why I’m mad at my parents right now for not raising me on the West Coast.

Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been just as bad as any team in the NBA (minus the 76ers but do they even count?). Watching Lakers Twitter react after every loss, every Bryon Scott press conference, and every big Kobe moment during that time span was been priceless. You can see a fan base starving to be competitive again but that can laugh at the lumps along the way.

Now, just two years after the rebuilding process began, Lakers’ fans have plenty to cheer about. Unlike the previous few seasons for my Nets, the Lakers’ atrocious seasons brought them D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Brandon Ingram. From their head coach to the last player in their rotation, the Lakers are young, hungry and talented; and that’s something to get excited about moving forward.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject:

Lakers Show Potential In Initial NBA Summer League Games
by Hannah Kulik - lakersnation.com

Last year’s Summer League was a nightmare for the Lakers, setting a negative tone for a very poor regular season ahead. The vibe this year is different. Whether it is attributable to the relaxed confidence of new head coach Luke Walton, or the excitement of seeing top draft choice Brandon Ingram in a Lakers’ uniform, there was a genuine expectation that the team was going to do better and create some buzz.

So far the young players have not disappointed. The first game against the New Orleans Pelicans was a feel-good experience in which everyone played well and the team won by twenty points. The second game, against the Philadelphia 76ers, was totally different. The first half was as ugly as anything we saw last summer, but for a change, the team responded down the stretch and managed to win a game they never led until the final shot as the clock expired.

There are at least three more games to play this summer, and hopefully more. The coaching staff wants the squad to continue to compete hard and improve, and by the end, there will be a larger body of work from which to draw more definitive conclusions. However, here are five initial observations from what we’ve seen so far.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:09 pm    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell says he still has to prove himself at the NBA level
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

The offseason was three days away, tip-off was in an hour, and D’Angelo Russell sat at his locker in Oklahoma City, toying with his phone and describing his plans for the coming months. Yes, he said, he would play in the NBA Summer League.

Without looking up, he added, “And I’m going to dominate it, too.”

He described his plans to be more aggressive, and to camp out beneath the free-throw line, using his 6-foot-5 frame to run the offense out of the post – like Magic Johnson.

This brand of cockiness is one of Russell’s most visible traits. Off court, most around the Lakers have learned to roll their eyes at much of Russell’s behavior, like when he struts into the locker room, loudly squawking nonsense.

Maybe he flies too close to the sun. Or maybe that supreme confidence, the belief that he is special, is what got him through a roller-coaster rookie season that careened on rails of frustration and controversy.

What was clear by game No. 81, however, was that Russell was ready to turn the page.

Summer league was the next thing on the calendar. The next chance he had to reaffirm who he is as a player, to demonstrate that he can be the next great star for an organization that craves them more than any other in the NBA.

Russell’s rookie season could not tamp down his personality, but many believe it humbled him.

“There were a few times last year,” Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. said Friday, “we would sit down and talk and he’d say, ‘Man, I’ve never done this before. I’ve never struggled.’ Because obviously he’s been elite his entire life.”

The fact he was even on tap to take the court in summer league, surrounded by rookies and players who have never played in the NBA and many who never will, said everything about Russell’s first season.

Last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns, is not playing at summer league. Neither is Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks, or Jahlil Okafor of the 76ers.

“There’s a reason,” Russell said last week following a practice in El Segundo. “They dominated and showed that they didn’t belong there. I guess I didn’t show it. So I guess I got to show it when I get that opportunity.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject:

Larry Nance Jr. drawing 'MVP' chants for energy and leadership
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

The “MVP” chants filled the arena, and for once they were not directed at Kobe Bryant.

Lakers fans did not aim the praise toward second-year guard D’Angelo Russell, despite making the winning 3-pointer to secure a summer-league win against Philadelphia on Saturday. Nor were those cheers meant for Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram, the franchise’s No. 2 draft pick.

Instead, the gesture went toward Lakers second-year forward Larry Nance Jr., who had lifted his team with a mix of qualities as diverse as a Las Vegas buffet. He threw down dunks. He implored teammates to hustle. He made defensive stops.

“I felt like Kobe a little bit,” Nance said, chuckling.

Yet, Nance sounded embarrassed for being the new recipient of those cheers after Bryant assumed it for the previous 20 years. Nance had missed an ensuing foul shot, airballed a mid-range jumper and committed five turnovers. Nance also argued Russell deserved the nod instead.

Nonetheless, Lakers summer league coach Jesse Murmuys called Nance the “unsung hero” in the team’s victory after adding 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, eight rebounds, seven steals, four assists and four blocks. Nance also enters the Lakers’ summer-league game against the Golden State Warriors on Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center as the team’s most vocal leader.

“He’s a winning piece on a winning team,” Russell said. “Every team needs a guy like Larry. He’s always positive.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:59 pm    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Why Lakers fans should cherish the team’s bright future
by Mike Lucas - lakersoutsiders.com

Let me start by saying this; I’m not a Lakers fan, but I wish I were.

It’s not fun to admit, but I’m a proud New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets fan. As I sit here writing this from my apartment in Tennessee, I can see my 2002-2003 Nets Eastern Conference Championship Banner and my Game 7 towel from Brooklyn’s 2014 season-ending loss to Toronto.

As the NBA draft recedes in our rearview mirror and the chaotic frenzy that is the first week of free agency cools down, it’s time to focus our attention on the upcoming season. As a Nets fan, there’s not much to get excited about.

I’m pleased with all the team’s offseason acquisitions. All their signings have been low-risk, high-reward deals at pretty good market value. However, I’d be a damn fool to think Brooklyn has any chance at even competing with the better teams in the Eastern Conference next year barring any major changes, and we’ll more likely than not finish near the bottom of the conference.

Losing is one thing, but losing without the benefit of a high draft pick is another. The Celtics own the right to swap draft positions with the Nets in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft, and Boston owns the Nets’ 2018 1st rounder. No matter how the team’s front office tries to spin the situation, the reality is there won’t be any superstar prospects coming through the Nets ranks anytime soon.

It’s boring to be a Nets fan these days, and that’s why I’m mad at my parents right now for not raising me on the West Coast.

Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been just as bad as any team in the NBA (minus the 76ers but do they even count?). Watching Lakers Twitter react after every loss, every Bryon Scott press conference, and every big Kobe moment during that time span was been priceless. You can see a fan base starving to be competitive again but that can laugh at the lumps along the way.

Now, just two years after the rebuilding process began, Lakers’ fans have plenty to cheer about. Unlike the previous few seasons for my Nets, the Lakers’ atrocious seasons brought them D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Brandon Ingram. From their head coach to the last player in their rotation, the Lakers are young, hungry and talented; and that’s something to get excited about moving forward.

Continued....


Nice perspective from a Nets fan. I think he's right.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:46 am    Post subject:

TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
lakersfreak wrote:
Why Lakers fans should cherish the team’s bright future
by Mike Lucas - lakersoutsiders.com

Let me start by saying this; I’m not a Lakers fan, but I wish I were.

It’s not fun to admit, but I’m a proud New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets fan. As I sit here writing this from my apartment in Tennessee, I can see my 2002-2003 Nets Eastern Conference Championship Banner and my Game 7 towel from Brooklyn’s 2014 season-ending loss to Toronto.

As the NBA draft recedes in our rearview mirror and the chaotic frenzy that is the first week of free agency cools down, it’s time to focus our attention on the upcoming season. As a Nets fan, there’s not much to get excited about.

I’m pleased with all the team’s offseason acquisitions. All their signings have been low-risk, high-reward deals at pretty good market value. However, I’d be a damn fool to think Brooklyn has any chance at even competing with the better teams in the Eastern Conference next year barring any major changes, and we’ll more likely than not finish near the bottom of the conference.

Losing is one thing, but losing without the benefit of a high draft pick is another. The Celtics own the right to swap draft positions with the Nets in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft, and Boston owns the Nets’ 2018 1st rounder. No matter how the team’s front office tries to spin the situation, the reality is there won’t be any superstar prospects coming through the Nets ranks anytime soon.

It’s boring to be a Nets fan these days, and that’s why I’m mad at my parents right now for not raising me on the West Coast.

Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been just as bad as any team in the NBA (minus the 76ers but do they even count?). Watching Lakers Twitter react after every loss, every Bryon Scott press conference, and every big Kobe moment during that time span was been priceless. You can see a fan base starving to be competitive again but that can laugh at the lumps along the way.

Now, just two years after the rebuilding process began, Lakers’ fans have plenty to cheer about. Unlike the previous few seasons for my Nets, the Lakers’ atrocious seasons brought them D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Brandon Ingram. From their head coach to the last player in their rotation, the Lakers are young, hungry and talented; and that’s something to get excited about moving forward.

Continued....


Nice perspective from a Nets fan. I think he's right.


This is the best quote from the article:
Quote:
Cherish the opportunity to watch a young team grow before your eyes and don’t be discouraged by early failure. There are about 28 other fan bases around the country that would love to be in your shoes right now.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:15 am    Post subject:

D’Angelo Russell has become the new Lakers’ leader
by lakersoutsiders.com

D’Angelo Russell’s game-winner against the Sixers’ summer league team was electrifying, but that shot wasn’t the most intriguing thing he showed Sunday night and ultimately, all of summer league. He has started to show signs of leadership, taking directive and giving out commands for the betterment of the people around him.

Becoming a leader is tough. Being D’Angelo Russell makes that even tougher, clouded by controversies from his rookie year that hurt the team’s ability to trust him. It’s evident that this will be a hefty challenge for the 20-year-old entering his sophomore season.

“And throughout the game, we started slowly creeping back, playing Laker basketball, playing the way we know we can play. At the end of the game, before the shot, before all of that, I was just preaching, we were going to win this game,” Russell said.

Even with that difficulty, Russell is taking steps forward to that role as he told reporters following the game against the Sixers. His constant communication with teammates, even ones who probably won’t make the Lakers’ training camp, is visible. It showed on Monday night against the Warriors. Russell started talking with Nance at 6:29 mark of the third quarter, working on improving after Nance fouled Keifer Sykes on a layup. He’s keeping his head on his shoulders and pushing the team forward.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:17 am    Post subject:

Summer League - D'Angelo Russell dazzles in 78-65 victory over Warriors
by Drew Garrison - silverscreenandroll.com

D'Angelo Russell played in control from start to finish, leading the Lakers to their third-straight win in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers improved to a 3-0 Las Vegas Summer League record, riding the hot hand of D'Angelo Russell in a 78-65 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The purple and gold earned themselves a bye round once tournament play begins, taking a two-day breather before getting back into action Thursday.

Russell's 26 points on a wildly-efficient 9-of-13 shooting performance is to thank, the second-year point guard making quick work of the outclassed Warriors. D'Angelo made up for an erratic start to his game against the Philadelphia 76ers by taking control of this one early, using his shooting touch to kickstart the Lakers in the first quarter. His relentless assault carried on throughout the game, helping create enough cushion to enable some serious Summer League garbage time for the rest of the prospects under the coaching staff's watch.

It was the kind of game you'd hope to see out of a player like Russell, who should come out looking like the elite young prospect that he is. He showed off his handle a bit, was locked on from outside and made good decisions with his scoring opportunities. D'Angelo had a dazzling game.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:18 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell's scoring prowess poses issue for Lakers
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

D'Angelo Russell continued a dominant march toward possible summer league MVP honors in Las Vegas on Monday with a 26-point performance against the Golden State Warriors, with 22 coming in the first half.

But as impressive as the Los Angeles Lakers point guard has been in summer league play by averaging a team-high 22.7 points through three games -- all wins -- Lakers assistant Jesse Mermuys wants to “rein” Russell in, so to speak.

Allow Mermuys, who is coaching the Lakers’ summer league squad, to explain.

“It’s hard for these young guys, man,” Mermuys said. “And I feel for them a little bit because when you have the ability to do that, obviously that flash is exciting. I’m sure he enjoys it and it’s fun to watch for the fans. As a coach, I’m trying to rein him in and that’s hard. That’s a hard process where I want him to feel confident and we want him to have that swag, and it’s unbelievable. It’s powerful.

“But we want him to be able to do it at the right times and doing it in a winning style of play. He’s finding his way and I give him so much credit for being so coachable. For him to have that type of burst at the end of the first half and then come out in the second half and then really try to buckle in on what we’re trying to do, he’s been awesome.”

But why rein in a player who’s playing so well?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:19 am    Post subject:

Larry Nance Jr. Displays Impressive Growth In Summer League
by Trevor Lane - lakersnation.com

Larry Nance Jr. wasn’t supposed to be a good NBA player. In fact, most ridiculed the Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to select the Wyoming senior with the 27th pick in the 2015 Draft. Mock drafts had him landing somewhere near the end of the second round, which means that there was a legitimate chance that he wouldn’t be drafted at all.

In the midst of a breakout junior season in college, Nance suffered a devastating ACL tear that would require a long recovery process. It also meant that a jump to the NBA would have to wait one more year and that he would enter the draft as a senior, which is considered a bad thing in the NBA, where upside rules.

With a serious knee injury on the record and with his status as an “old man” at 22, it was easy to see why many NBA teams would pass on him.

The Lakers, however, saw value. Nance jumped so high at his pre-draft workout with the Lakers in 2015 that they thought something was wrong with the measuring equipment, so he proved that there was no malfunction by touching the rim on a regulation-height basket…with his head.

In addition to his leaping ability, Nance also displayed surprising agility for a player his size, giving hope that he could eventually become a plus defender at the next level.

Nance didn’t just lean on the athletic gifts that he was handed down from his dunk-champion father, though. Instead, he out-hustled his competition in workouts, displaying a work-ethic that would serve him well in the pros.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:21 am    Post subject:

Summer League Videos - Lakers over Warriors
by lakersnation.com

Lakers Expectations For Developing D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell: 'I'm Going To Be As Coachable As Possible'

Lakers Rookie Ivica Zubac: 'I'm Having Too Much Fun!'

Brandon Ingram On Adjusting To NBA Game, Pace Of Play

Anthony Brown: 'I'm The Best Defender On The Team'
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject:

Kobe Takes To Twitter To Congratulate Tim Duncan On 19-Year Career
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

Few players in the NBA, past or present, have been able to hold off Father Time as long as Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Both players were the face of their franchise for the past two decades and were able to stand the test of time while leading two of the most successful teams in the league.

On Monday, Duncan announced that he has chosen to retire after 19 years with the Spurs. Bryant, who recently retired after his 20th season, took to Twitter to congratulate his longtime adversary after hearing about Duncan’s intention to walk away from the game:

Congrats TD #19yrs #GoSpursGo

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 11, 2016


Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. also took to Twitter to show some respect to the five-time NBA champion. Nance admits to having a pair Duncan’s shoes growing up and idolizing the Spurs star:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:17 am    Post subject: Julius Randle speaks about Luke Walton and watching film of Draymond Green.

Julius Randle speaks about Luke Walton and watching film of Draymond Green.

By Thai Luong- lakersoutsiders.com

The Lakers’ summer league team has been the top entertainment in Las Vegas. They have performed well and impressed a lot of their fans. Most of the Lakers’ young core has played well including second-year guard D’Angelo Russell, who has put on an absolute show these past few games. Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle are missing from summer league action.

Randle didn’t participate in this year’s summer league, but he did show up in Las Vegas to support his teammates play against the Warriors Monday night. During a third quarter interview with Rosalyn Gold-Onwude of NBA TV, Randle shared his thoughts about his new head coach, Luke Walton.

“He is just a great guy,” Randle said. “The energy when I was practicing with the summer league team was great. He is very approachable. We already had discussions, and I know I’ll love playing for him.”

Randle has yet to play under Walton’s system, but the former is already being encouraged to play his style of basketball. Randle is known for his rebounding prowess and attacking the rim. Walton wants him to keep on doing the same. After Randle’s first practice with the summer league team, last week, Walton and the coaching staff pressured Randle to push the ball in transition after a rebound even more so than last year.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject:

Kupchak understands where the Lakers are in rebuilding process
by Gary Kester - lakeroutsiders.com

There has been no shortage of excitement for the Los Angeles Lakers in the past few days. The team started their NBA Summer League campaign with a dominating victory over Buddy Hield and the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by a thrilling come-from-behind win that saw D’Angelo Russell sink Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers with a three-point shot as time expired to send the Thomas and Mack Center into a frenzy.

The Lakers have played far better than they did a year ago in Las Vegas, which has generated a lot of buzz and optimism amongst the fan base. The youth has shown why the future looks so promising, but general manager Mitch Kupchak understands that there are still growing pains to go through before the team even thinks about contention. Kupchak sat down with Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson from Sirius XM NBA Radio and reminded everyone to keep expectations for the upcoming season in check.

Mitch Kupchak says he realizes this #Lakers team is young and won't win a championship this year to @TermineRadio & @Jumpshot8
3:55 PM - 10 Jul 2016


One way the front office would have been able to transform the Lakers from a 17-win team into a title contender in one offseason would have been by landing two different stars in free agency with the massive amount of salary cap space they had going into July 1st. But coming off the worst season in franchise history made that task a near impossibility, as Kupchak acknowledged.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:28 pm    Post subject:

Lakers praise Brandon Ingram for not shying away from contact
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com


Instead, it all points to the Lakers’ No. 2 draft pick suddenly becoming bait for his opponents to bite.

“With my size and my frame,” Ingram said, “they try to test me.”

Ingram stands at 6-foot-9 and is listed at 190 pounds. He has said he actually logs at 195 pounds after previously weighing 169 pounds during his freshman season at Duke. There might be a discrepancy on just how skinny Ingram is. But no discrepancy has emerged on what has become a priority on Ingram’s scouting report.

The Lakers may have imposed their will with 78-65 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday at Thomas & Mack Center. Ingram, however, encountered suffocating defenses that the Lakers attributed to him scoring only seven points on 0-of-5 shooting.

After posting 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the Lakers’ summer league opener against New Orleans, Ingram followed up with a seven-point effort on a 3-of-12 clip against Philadelphia.

Yet, the Lakers have seen something that a box score cannot document.

“As skinny as he is, he’s not shying away from that contact and that abuse,” Lakers summer league coach Jesse Mermuys said. “He’s trying to go get it. That’s a really good sign for him.”

It also has become a good sign that explains why neither the Lakers nor Ingram seem too concerned with his shooting inconsistency.

“When guys get physical, I think it’s important to hit them first before they hit you,” Ingram said. “So just trying to be aggressive and try to make plays for my other teammates.”

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:29 pm    Post subject:

D’Angelo Russell Making Good On His Promise to Fans
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Lakers’ rising star, D’Angelo Russell is making good on his promise to fans last season: “Y’all ain’t seen nothing yet“

The road back to relevance for the Los Angeles Lakers has widely resembled a pot hole infested, dumpster strewn back alley rather than the smooth streets of Figueroa that the team has grown so accustomed to. From locker room drama to on court tension, the past few seasons were more Real Housewives of Hollywood than LA Lakers basketball.

Now that Kobe Bryant is officially gone, the team looks to the future with bright eyes full of hope and rightly so. With no “official” passing of the torch moment, it was widely assumed that the Lakers young core would lead by committee but D’Angelo Russell seems to have different plans entirely.

Simply watching his first three games of Las Vegas summer league, it’s apparent that D’Lo has more on his mind than “play better than last year,” he instead appears to be on a mission to show the world that this is his team and his alone.

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Last edited by lakersfreak on Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject:

Strength and Conditioning: D'Angelo Russell (Videos)
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Early in the offseason, Tim DiFrancesco flew into D’Angelo Russell’s hometown of Louisville for a few days of training.

The Lakers’ Strength and Conditioning Coach didn’t touch down in Kentucky until late at night and messaged Russell that he understood if he’d rather wait until the next morning to start.

But the 20-year-old wasn’t having any of that.

“He was like, ‘No way. Why wait? Where are we going? Let’s get this work in,’” DiFrancesco said. “That’s something you can’t teach. You can only hope that the guy on the other end that you’re working with has that willingness to get work whenever, wherever, however.”

Not only did Russell complete his lifting session that night, but he also put in nearly two hours of on-court skills training immediately after. The two men didn’t leave the gym until around 1:30 a.m.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:31 pm    Post subject:

Lakers coaches encouraging everyone, even rookie center Ivica Zubac, to 'let it fly' from 3-point range
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

A long-distance attempt once earned Andrew Bynum a quick trip to the bench, and former Lakers coach Byron Scott didn’t exactly encourage them either.

The 3-point shot will no longer be frowned upon. After serving as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors while they perfected the use of the 3-point shot the past two years, new Lakers coach Luke Walton plans to maximize that philosophy with a younger and less proven roster. So much so that the Lakers have encouraged rookie center Ivica Zubac to extend his range.

“Once they prove it to Coach Walton, he’ll let them shoot them,” Lakers summer league coach Jesse Mermuys said. “Obviously he has to prove that. But that’s where the game is going. If you’re not allowing your guys to do that, then you’re behind the times.”

Zubac did not attempt any 3-pointers through the team’s first three summer league games. He enters Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. game against Boston/Cleveleand averaging 9 points on 64.3 percent shooting based off a mix of post-ups and jumpers.

His infectious enthusiasm has gone beyond playing for his childhood team. “I really love the system” said the 19-year-old Bosnian native, who often felt constricted when he played in Croatia.

“I was in the system where coach tells who’s going to shoot now and he calls the plays. Players don’t have freedom. Here, you have freedom and you can show what you have,” Zubac said. “To have it for this first time is so great. I can show what I can do.”

Zubac maintained his mid-range game and post presence is “nothing new” but he said he felt like his development was somewhat stunted in Croatia after becoming mostly a screen-setter.

Scott did not come close to setting restrictions on 3-point attempts during his two years coaching the Lakers, but he downplayed their importance despite eight of the last 10 NBA championship teams leading the league in 3-point shooting and attempts. Scott mostly justified his diminished view of relying on perimeter shots because the Lakers couldn’t match the personnel of the teams that were thriving from outside, such as the Warriors.

The current coaching staff doesn’t think that way.

“We’re letting it fly, man!” Mermuys said. “We want to empower our guys. We want them to feel confident and let it fly, especially in summer league. If that thing comes to (Zubac), he has to be ready and line it up. It looks good.”

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:32 pm    Post subject:

Kobe Given ESPY Icon Award
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

At the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant was honored alongside fellow legends Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach with an ESPY Icon Award.

Bryant was showered with "Kobe!" chants from the audience at Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles when he accepted the honor. He began with a bit of self-depreciating humor by comparing his team's 17-65 record in his last season to the finales of Manning and Wambach, who retired after winning the Super Bowl and Women's World Cup.

The 18-time All-Star continued by highlighting the dedication to his craft that he shared with the other two recipients.

“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability,” Bryant said. “We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days. We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

In front of a crowd that included former teammates Shaquille O'Neal and Jordan Clarkson, the five-time champion concluded by reiterating that he does not plan to rest in retirement.

The 37-year-old has plans that include furthering his company, Kobe Inc., and telling stories through filmmaking.

“I believe that there’s time for resting at the end, but for me that time is not now,” Bryant said. “Thank you for this tremendous honor and honoring my basketball career, but I’m far from done. My next dream is to be honored one day for inspiring the next generation of athletes to have a dream, sacrifice for it and never, ever rest in the middle.”

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