Lakers Summer League: Knicks


Here we go!!! EAST vs WEST!! Brozingis vs 3’Angelo!!!

I was planning on watching this game twice. Trying to disect everything I could, get a ton of screen shots, analyze lineups, and maybe even get some clips. But wow, this game was sad. The Lakers scored 66 points. Only two less than in Saturday’s win over the 76ers but this game felt slow and to be honest, sad.

101-dalmatiansThere’s probably as many reasons to not get worked up about Summer League as Pongo and Perdita have little spotted puppies. (That’s right, that’s a DEEP Disney Deep Dive, come at me). With about 5:40 left in the 4Q I wrote, “This team must have went out to ‘Champagne & Campaign’ last night because they suck today. No jumpers are going down.” Totally feasible.

Again, I was watching The Office yesterday and came across an episode (s8e15) where half of the office goes on a business trip to Tallahassee, Florida. (how telling is it that I can never spell business on the first try? Definitely not a business major. *spellcheck*click*change). Dwight is so nervous that he wakes up and gets ready then wakes everyone up at 5:10am. He eats an insane amount of Tums to calm his nervous. Of course he takes too many and gets appendicitis he needs to go to the hospital but refuses and tries to fight through it. In the meeting he tries to get to the top of a human pyramid and just ends up collapsing on the floor.


I do not think that the whole Lakers Summer League team went out last night, went crazy and came into last nights game completely exhausted and sucked it up all over the court. Nor do I believe any of them actually ate too many Tums. I do believe that anything could have happened the night before, like taking too many antacids.  If you didn’t know Dwight you’d think he was a druggie with an awful work ethic. Am I using The Office to defend these guys again…dang.  All these guys have their own lives and their own agendas though. We wish they were all Kobe-Basketball-All-The-Time-Fanatics but no one (else) is a robot like him. Whatever happened, let’s hope that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Especially in this game because it was, as Mike Breen put it, “not beautiful basketball.”

Lakers Team Notes


Two minutes into the game it was moving SO fast, every bucket was in transition. Guys were flying all over court, it was a type of chaos that you don’t think it under control. The ’05-’06 Suns were under-control chaos. This was not. Especially for the Lakers, check out this transition movement:

The Lakers are all stuck in the middle of the floor while the Knicks are all spread out. This play ended with Langston Galloway missing the shot but it could have easily ended in a Grant or Early three.

KnicksGraphicI watched the MSG network feed of the game and Mike Breen and Walt “Clyde” Frazier were the announcing crew. Frazier immediately labeled Julius Randle and Tarik Black as “Hustle and Muscle” guys. I like it.

With 10 seconds left the Lakers had the ball and their play was Julius Randle this far on top of the key… Yikes. I’m a little concerned, but Coach Madsen might just be letting them play, and allowing the players to dictate. If that’s the case then they should not be allowed to during the season.

Knicks were up 19-4 at the end of the first. Yikes. Also concerning, 7 Lakers turnovers in the 1Q. They all have to do that ‘Steph Curry bet with his mom deal.’

The Lakers only had 2 turnovers in the 2Q and the game REALLY slowed down. It’s almost painful now with neither team

In the middle of the second Breen asked Clyde how he would describe lefties and he just said, “eccentric.” Hahah, I love Breen and Frazier together.

Lakers out scored the Knicks 27-17 in the 2Q but Knicks still lead 31-36 at half time. It’s been an awful half for the Lakers… This is when Mike Breen said, “this has not been beautiful Basketball”

To start the third the Lakers went back to their 3-2 zone which has been so much more effective. If winning the Summer League meant anything at all I’d be upset that they didn’t run it more, but I know why they don’t. They need to get they guys used to man-to-man defense because you can’t run a zone on Lebron or Steph Curry or Durant.

Lakers get outscored 25-17 down 61-48 at the end of the 3Q.

The Lakers actually started to come back in the 4Q but finished 66-76 for their second lost of Summer League.


Three minutes left in the game Lakers fans were being boisterous and booing loudly. It’s the loudest I’ve heard them all week.

The Thomas & Mack entertainment crew freaked out and with a minute left… “Who Let The Dogs Out” was played for the first time in America in 19 years. Coach Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen did not let them out…

A couple interesting lineups I tried to keep track of all of them (if you’re into that) but sometimes guys come in for 10sec and then the quarter ends or they go sit down.

The ‘normal’ guys start the game off Black/Randle/ABrown/Clarkson/Russell

Then a few times they sent out their smaller squad playing with:

1Q 2:50 Upshaw/NanceJr/Clarkson/Buycks/Munford.

Start of 2Q Upshaw/NanceJr/Clarkson/JBrown/Buycks.

3Q 2:20 Randle/NanceJr/JBrown/Buycks/Clarkson super small

3Q 4:00 Black/NanceJr/JBrown/Clarkson/Russell

Start 4Q Upshaw/Nance/Russell/JBrown/Buycks to start 4th.

Interestingly Upshaw has started two quarters but he only played six and a half minutes total.

4Q 7:33 Black/NanceJr/Russell/JBrown/Buycks

4Q 5:30 Black/NanceJr/ABrown/JBrown​/Clarkson

4Q 0:41sec Upshaw/Randle/JBrown/ABrown/Clarkson

First time seeing Upshaw/Randle all game. Why? That seems like the most logical fit.

D’Angelo Russell:

The turnover woes continue for D’Angelo Russell. There’s not much encouragement on that front because there’s not really a binding theme between them. They’re all different. Some of them are insane passes that players don’t catch others are him driving into traffic like he does here and loses the ball. @#$%@#$% I mean come on, both corners and Nance Jr are open.


Two minutes into the 4Q I wrote, “I hope that with all these turnovers from Russell he doesn’t think he’s not at fault. This last one he pointed at Brown like he was supposed to be where he threw the ball. Also, should we be worrying that Russell isn’t taking over these games scoring instead of just trying to pass all the time and turning it over.”

Clyde said that the point guard position is the hardest to transition from college to NBA. You have to be a leader. Russell is the youngest Laker on the Summer League roster and so much is expected of him. It’ll come, he’s willing to put the work it. He just better hope that Kobe hasn’t watched any of these games…

A few good moments came out of the game for D’Russ though. 1Q 7:35 he went right at Porzingis and got the bucket. Two minutes later we saw a step back long two, that’ll turn into a three in time. Remember the college three is shorter than the NBA three.

3Q 4:53 great pass left handed cross court from Russell to J.Brown who drove into the lane and got fouled.


3Q 4:28 a GREAT dribble dance and step back two against Jerian Grant (who’s a good defender). I wonder if he’s more of a streaky shooter right now and hasn’t felt a good rhythm since coming to Las Vegas.

Jordan Clarkson

Didn’t see a lot that we haven’t already seen. He was 3-14 from the field and only 1 board and 1 assist, and 0 Tums taken…right?

Julius Randle

Two minutes into the game Randle tried to drive on Ndour and couldn’t get by him. So what does he do went he can’t get by? This time he just tried to get fouled, didn’t even look to pass. He’s been compared to a bulldozer a lot recently and I think that’s fair because it’s pretty hard to change directions in a bulldozer once it gets going. Same with Randle, he decides if he’s going to the basket or if he’s going to pass before he starts the drive, puts his head down, and sticks with it. Which I don’t think we want, especially if teams start watching film of him and recognizing that too. In this sense Randle could actually be a ball stopper if he’s not flexible enough to swing the ball if there isn’t space for him to operate.

Also, Porzingis is going to go to the foul line a lot because everyone will close out on him because they know he can shoot. They don’t think he can blow by them either. The opposite will be true for Randle because he can’t shoot, yet.

In the 3Q Randle got the rebound and ran the fast break three times by my count. Three times a quarter sounds right to me if he can learn to adjust mid-drive.

He’s still missing everything around the rim though, 2-8 in this game. Same principle applies, as long as he’s getting to the basket eventually it’ll fall in his favor. Just takes practice and more playing time. From what I’ve seen he’s only tried one jumper in both games and he missed that. Teams are going to know he can’t shoot and sag off of him and he won’t be able to just get the ball at the three point line and take one quick dribble past guys like Blake Griffin, Draymond Green, or Paul Millsap.

The last two minutes of this game drove me insane though, I almost turned it off. Randle finally started playing intentionally. With 2:30 left he got the ball inside the three point line and drove right at Porzingis, spun to the left, and got fouled. 30 seconds later he did the same thing except he went right and made the basket.

Then as you see here he got the rebound and started the break. Three Knicks got caught in the middle of the court and Randle passed the ball to Clarkson who ended up sliding right for a corner three. This is the first time I’ve seen him pass in rhythm on a drive all game. He either stops and passes or goes to the hoop for contested shot. With 15 seconds left he does this again to the opposite corner for Jabari Brown.


Jabari Brown

In the 1Q I wrote, “JBrown will not pass.” He’s a sort of a ball-stopper but he was the only guy in a purple jersey hitting shots so I don’t blame him. The reigning D-League scoring champ isn’t on the floor to distribute. (That sounded like a backhanded compliment, Sorry Jabari, dang so did that…)

JBrown did get a couple of early steals. He has some great hands, I saw him punch and slap away the ball four times even though he only got credit for three of them.

1:27 left in the 1Q JBrown gets the first Lakers technical foul of the Summer League. Congratulations. He’s feisty though. Besides Randle’s final two minutes he’s the only Lakers that showed some fight in this game, for whatever Summer League fight is worth.


After several step backs and steals and during a miserable 4Q I started to wonder if JBrown might be a better option than Lou Williams. Was this game 18 hours, cause it feels like it’s 4am tomorrow. I’m going crazy.

Tarik Black

Porzingis is like 3 feet taller than Black, but that’s not too important.

Mitch Kupchak said in a recent interview that they want Black to be a defense and rebounding guy. I just think he’s a better scorer than anyone is giving him credit for. Maybe because we’re directly comparing him to Randle’s semi-inept play the last two games but he has some legitimate moves. Dribble drives, hook shots, put back dunks. Every bucket counts, and Black scored 9, 7, and 10 points going 10/16 and 6/9 from the line without ever having a play run for him.

2:30 left in the 2Q he hit a jumper and I left my seat. HE CAN SCORE. I’m here for you Tarik.

Dwight Buycks

This could be Buycks last game in a Lakers jersey and he started right where he left off. As soon as he came in I wrote “Buycks is ball-stopping again. He’s fighting for his NBA life.” Wow, sounds dramatic, but the Lakers had only scored twice at that point. If I was in charge we wouldn’t be seeing Buycks in the regular season. D-Fenders? Of course. I think he showed a lot of defensive effort and nice upside but not on the Lakers.

Larry Nance Jr

A couple of great steals and a few boards is all we got from LA-RRY LA-RRY in this game. He missed all four jumpers he took in this game, all of them wide open. I’m not sure if I’m more concerned about that or that my Josh Smith comparison is sticking…


Saw less than 20 minutes from ABrown last night but in the middle of the 2Q Madsen put Russell/Clarkson/ABrown back into the game and the perimeter defense improved immensely. Specifically when he put ABrown back in, coincidence? I hope not. There’s a big difference between one-on-one defense and team defense and I think ABrown is good at both.

With 30 seconds left in the game Fraizer graced us with this little nugget…

Frazier: “A lot of fans are saying the Lakers are back. I don’t know about that…”

Breen: “It’s all part of the Summer League, your education…”

Frazier: “Before your devastation.”

Well said Clyde, well said.


I wrote the equivalent to a full page of notes on the Knicks. I’m definitely going to write about them more specifically later in the summer because I think I like what they’re doing more than I did after the draft. Here’s a few things I noticed:
First of all their perimeter defense was amazing, especially in the 1Q.

That starting 5 of Galloway/Grant/Early/Ndour/Porzingis fit really well together. They’re all hustle guys and Early and Ndour are high flyers that can get out in transition really fast and catch lobs. As athletic as Clarkson and Nance Jr are none of the Lakers plays above the rim, Knicks have three in those two and Ricky Ledo.

I liked most things I saw from Brozingis, good touch around the rim. Hit two hook shots early in this game. Only seen him take one three in both games. He’s really disciplined on going straight up on defense. That’s a good early sign of defensive intelligence and just overall discipline, it’s really easy to try to lean in and try to get the block.


One guy I could do without was #5 Louis Labetrie. Here’s a few things I wrote about him, all on separate instances throughout this game.

– Who is #5, I want to punch him. JBrown almost did.

– Louis Labetrie is a punk… Gosh… The next Matt Barnes.

– I can’t stand Louis Labetrie…ugh

– He belongs on the “punchablefaces” feed on Reddit. Look at him…


4Q 4:36 Ndour passes it off of Nance Jr’s foot. Question. Why has no one ever tried that to create a timeout?? Like back down a defender and then just throw it at their shoe? Yeah this game isn’t that great right now…

4Q Ndour is like an Al-Faruoq Aminu/Nene-with-dreads hybrid, both in play and appearance. Wow it’s late…is that the most obscure combo comparison I’ve ever made? It’s time for bed…



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