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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Wizards Scrimmage

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The Lakers finished the first half of this scrimmage with a 69-67 lead. They shot 55 percent for this half as many different players had their fair share of points. This was the Lakers’ highest-scoring half of all the scrimmages they have played.

 

Lakers vs Wizards
Photo Credit: DraftKings

The stars of this half were the J. R. Smith, Danny Green, and JaVale McGee. Smith managed to score 14 points, shooting four for five from beyond the arch and going two for two from the free-throw line. J.R. even managed to hit a couple of those threes with a defender in his face, as he’s done throughout his career. If Smith brings this version of himself into the season without being inconsistent as he usually has been, this addition may be deadlier than anybody had anticipated.

Green managed to shoot five for eight from the field with 13 points. He was keeping up on defense as well, recording a block and two steals. The unexpected star of this half was McGee; even though he finished the half with just five points, he hustled on both ends of the court. He clogged up the paint, which was a significant reason the Wizards shot two percent lower than the Lakers did from the field. McGee recorded three blocks, two assists, and even hit a three-pointer.

The major downside of this half for the Lakers was free throws. They finished the first half of this scrimmage shooting at 65 percent from the line. Their current regular season standing in free throw percentage is 28th in the league, so we see that this problem has not been fixed.

Nobody in this first half struggled other than Markieff Morris, who shot two for seven from the field. Dion Waiters did an excellent job hustling as he shot four of seven and managed to record four assists. The Lakers’ defense did better than the scoreboard showed. They hustled and clogged the paint, but failed to keep up if they could not get a steal when the Wizards were moving the ball well.

 

The Lakers managed to pull out the win as the second half went about as well as the first one.

 

Despite bringing the point deficit to just 4 points for a few moments, the Wizards never took the lead after the first half ended. Smith continued his dominance in the second half of this game as he finished with 20 points, shooting six for seven from three. Waiters picked it up in the second half as he finished the game with 18 points, scoring most of his in the fourth quarter.

 

Lakers vs Wizards
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Two young players in Tim Horton-Tucker and Devontae Cacok got some playing time, but it was Cacok who stepped up. He has never played in an official NBA game but managed to record 11 points and ten rebounds with just around 13 minutes of playing time. Morris did not get back into the game to recover from his first-half struggles.

Meanwhile, Kostas Antetokounmpo did not have a great performance either. He was just three for eight from both the field and the free-throw line. He most likely was not going to receive any playing time in the actual season anyway, so it is not worrisome for the Lakers. The biggest thing for Antetokounmpo was to get minutes in a game situation and get what experience he could.

 

The Lakers managed to get their free throw percentage up to 71 percent, but that is still not good enough from the line. Alex Caruso once again had an excellent performance. The Lakers guard was money shooting the ball, going four for six from the field, and managed to put up 17 points. Caruso also shot well from the free-throw line going six for eight. He produced five rebounds, six assists, and three steals. He will be a crucial contributor for the Lakers the remainder of the season with Rajon Rondo out another six weeks.

 

This game primarily taught the viewers four things: Smith can still be hot at times, Waiters can still be great as well, the Lakers still have problems from the free-throw line, and that the Laker’s depth is still as deep as it was during the season. Without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, or Kyle Kuzma, they still pulled out a victory and looked pretty damned good while doing it.

 

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

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