Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle Continues To Impress
The Los Angeles Lakers have defeated the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors. In preseason action, yes, but the confidence is slowly building for this young team.
The Warriors were without Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, among others. The Lakers sat out Kobe Bryant, Lou Williams, Tarik Black, Brandon Bass and Jonathan Holmes.
One big name did play for the Warriors: MVP Stephen Curry. He finished with 19 points in 22 minutes, while Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 17 points of his own.
Larry Nance Jr. made his first highlight play of the preseason with a monster jam over Festus Ezeli, perhaps the play of the year so far in the yet-to-be-started NBA season:
Here are three takeaways from the Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Golden State Warriors:
Julius Randle: Draymond Green “Can’t Guard Me”
Julius Randle has been on fire thus far this preseason for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Saturday’s contest was no exception. He tallied 14 points in 12 minutes, and got to the line seven times, making six shots. His 50 percent shooting from the field marked the fifth consecutive game he achieved that level of efficiency.
For those who doubt Randle’s prospects as a professional due to his lack of prototypical height and length as a power forward, he continues to give glimpses into how he will thrive early on in his career. This preseason, we have seen him drive to the hoop with an explosive power and speed, obliterating the bigs in front of him.
Except this time, it was not just a “big.” This time, it was all-world defender Draymond Green, the new-school power forward that ranked second in Defensive Player of the Year voting. After blowing by the All-Defensive Team First Teamer, Randle let his growing confidence show:
This was the second time Randle has put a nice move on one of the best defenders in the NBA. Last year, he laid a sweet spin move on Green, and scored fairly easily as a result:
Regardless what you think of Julius Randle’s game, it is certainly a great sign to see him have success against the best-of-the-best. An even better sign is the confidence that was on full display.
Marcelo Huertas Makes His Debut
The wait is over. Marcelo Huertas made his preseason debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, and did not disappoint in limited action. The “rookie” put up four points, six assists, and only one turnover in 12 minutes of action.
Throughout his time on the floor, Huertas was under control, and made the right plays. He showcased what he brings to the table for the Lakers, and provided evidence that he can be the backup true point guard that the team will need behind D’Angelo Russell.
Huertas is often compared to Pablo Prigioni, and that is the type of player I would expect him to be for these Lakers. He could have a great effect on the second unit with guys like Nick Young and Lou Williams already in place; this team will need his skill of distributing the ball.
This was only one game, and Huertas still has work to do after missing a ton of action, but the initial return looks good.
Hidden Dangers In Foreign Arenas
The Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors was called in the third quarter due to dangerous court conditions. The Valley View Casino Center in San Diego proved to be more of a slip-and-slide than a basketball court.
Stephen Curry, the reigning MVP, had his own somewhat scary moment, sliding down to the floor while attempting to do the usual Stephen Curry things. Of course he recovered and still made the shot – you should expect nothing less from the world’s greatest shooter – but it was still enough for everyone to hold their collective breath for a split-second.
These court conditions come a little over a year after Pacers forward Paul George suffered a horrific leg injury by flying into a stanchion that was determined to be non-regulation in Team USA play. George, as you may know, broke his leg and missed most of the NBA regular season.
Playing in “foreign” arenas is a cool thing that the NBA does. Whether it’s in China, Mexico, or any non-NBA town in America, seeing the best players suit up in a new place is interesting. However, going forward it is imperative that court conditions are thoroughly examined to avoid any more potential scary moments.
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