Here is what you need to know before the Lakers continue Summer League against the Boston Celtics.
1) Lonzo is on a mission
Lonzo Ball’s first play in a Lakers uniform went as well as possible. The 19-year-old sent a perfectly timed lob to the rim, where Brandon Ingram rose up for a dunk to the delight of thousands of Lakers fans in attendance.
But while the new point guard finished the night with five assists, four rebounds and general good ball movement, he never found his own rhythm, shooting just 2-of-15 from the field and 1-of-11 on 3-pointers.
Yet it’s not like Ball was unable to find himself open looks. He liked the shots that he was taking and is determined to get them to fall this time around.
With his family in attendance Friday night, he made a promise for this coming game, saying,
“I’m sorry for the performance I put on for them, but I’ll do better tomorrow.”
2) Ingram has been shut down
The Lakers are taking no chances with their young wing, as Brandon Ingram will rest the remainder of Summer League due to cramping in his right leg.
After the cramps afflicted him on the final play of regulation on Friday, Ingram — who already had 26 points and the overtime-forcing layup — asked to re-enter the game, but the Lakers’ coaching staff chose to play it safe.
They will continue to do so, as Ingram will likely remain in Vegas and continue to train with the team, but won’t play another game at Summer League.
With their scoring leader out, the Lakers will need to find buckets from their other players. Thomas Bryant (13 points) and Vander Blue (11) were next in line against the Clippers, while Ball and Ivica Zubac will likely be asked to shoulder larger roles.
3) Boston is bringing its own firepower
While the Lakers boast both of the NBA Draft’s most recent No. 2 picks — Ball and Ingram — the Celtics bring in each of the No. 3 selections — Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Brown joined Ingram on last year’s All-Rookie Second Team after providing Boston valuable minutes, particularly on the defensive end. He was a terror at the Utah Summer League last week, averaging 17.5 points and an event-best 10.5 rebounds.
Tatum — who replaced Ingram as Duke’s starting small forward — is a bit more of an unknown, having yet to play in the NBA. But he sure did look like a vet in Utah, springing to the hoop for dunks and patiently setting up his mid-range jumper.
Already armed with a polished scoring skill set, he put up 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in Utah and will be flanked by talent including Ivica Zubac’s Croatian teammate: Ante Zizic.
4) Thomas Bryant is fired up
No Laker was having a better time Friday than Thomas Bryant, who repeatedly let out screaming, flexing celebrations during his eye-drawing debut.
The Indiana product was L.A.’s most active player, ending the night with 13 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
The way he picked up those numbers was even more impressive, as his highlight reel included a 3-pointer, put-back dunk and pair of and-1s.
5) The arena will be rocking
Bryant won’t be the only one buzzing come tip-off, as this promises to be one of the craziest atmospheres in Summer League history.
For the first ever, the Las Vegas Summer League sold out of tickets a day in advance, according to ESPN, as fans are clamoring for a glimpse at the future of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.
Of course, the majority of those tickets will belong to Lakers fans, who routinely pack Thomas & Mack Arena for Summer League and even began filling seats three hours before tip-off on Friday. It could be an even earlier campout to get a good view for this contest.
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes in L.A. ESPN nationally
Radio: ESPN 710