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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Magic

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The Los Angeles Lakers played the Orlando Magic for their second exhibition scrimmage Saturday before the NBA season resumes on July 30th. Although the Lakers came away with the win, there are still more areas in their game that need adjusting.

 

The Lakers dominated Orlando for the majority of the game. They took a big 35-19 lead in the first quarter thanks to some great play from Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma. AD ended the game with 9 points (2-3, 66.7% from the field), an assist and a block. He went to work on the glass and at the line, grabbing ten rebounds and sinking five out of six free-throw attempts. He was limited to nine minutes in this game due to a minor eye poke injury.

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

On the other hand, Kuzma found his shot and made defenders pay for their lack of coverage. He dropped the game-high 25 points (10-13, 76.9% from the field), seven rebounds, and drained five three-pointers. Four of those threes came in the first quarter.

LeBron James had a good outing in his second game, but he still looks a bit rusty. He finished with 20 points (6-15, 40%), two rebounds, and seven assists while committing five turnovers. With each passing day, he gets better and better, and come July 30th; he will be ready.

Another standout performance for the Lakers was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 17 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 22 minutes. He had a hot game, hitting seven of his eight shot attempts and getting back on defense. It was the type of production the Lakers want out of KCP, and hopefully, he’s able to keep this up. KCP is known to be a streaky scorer, but games like these remind the Lakers and Laker fans why he’s on the team and what he’s capable of doing.

 

Dion Waiters continues to impress by adding more quality minutes to his Laker resume. Although it was just a scrimmage, Waiters is proving to the Lakers and other teams interested in him this offseason, that he’s capable of getting buckets. He finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, and an assist. Expect Waiters’ minutes to increase significantly as the remaining regular-season prepares to resume.

 

The Lakers took care of business today by getting the win, but they struggled a bit to seal the deal.

 

Alex Caruso played his first minutes but couldn’t do much of anything, as he got into foul trouble early. He didn’t see much of the court after that because he then fouled out in the third quarter. This shouldn’t be a big concern, as it was his first game back, and the purpose of these scrimmages are to iron out wrinkles like these.

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

The Lakers as a team didn’t play like they’ve been accustomed to playing before the shutdown. They finished the game with 34 fouls to Orlando’s 25. It was is somewhat a concern because fouls lead to free throws, and free throws lead to the easiest points you’ll ever see scored in a basketball game. Turnovers were also a problem for the Lakers, as they gave the ball away 23 times as opposed to Orlando’s 7. The Lakers will have to overcome this big problem in the playoffs because they rank 29th in the NBA in transition baskets allowed. If they keep turning the ball over like this, they’ll be giving up too many easy baskets in transition.

 

 

The Lakers next and final scrimmage exhibition game will be on Monday, July 27th, when they face the Washington Wizards at 12pm PST. Following that scrimmage, the Lakers will play their first official regular-season game since the season shutdown on July 30th against the Los Angeles Clippers at 6 pm PST on TNT.

 

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

 

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