The Los Angeles Lakers assigned little-used reserves Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly, and Anthony Brown to their D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, on Sunday. The three received all the minutes they could handle, with Black's 32 minutes of floor time the lowest of the three, but Black would have presumably played more had he not fouled out. Brown led the assignees in minutes with 42, but struggled with his efficiency against the Austin Spurs with 10 points on 15 shots.
Kelly fared much better, scoring 34 points on 10-18 shooting with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Kelly drew 17 free throws against Austin, and once again showed that while he struggles to defend, and thus stay on the floor, at the NBA level, he is too talented for the D-League.
He didn't score as much as Kelly, but Tarik Black definitely did his best to show why so many people following the Lakers are confused at his lack of playing time with the parent squad. Black scored 19 points on 9-12 shooting to go with 11 boards and 1 block. Black showed off his athleticism on a few dunks as well:
Play the man, Byron pic.twitter.com/rRGGyTiqw7— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) December 14, 2015
TARIK BLACK WITH THE MURDAAAAAA. pic.twitter.com/aOav5uYLzM— Donald Green. (@TheDonaldGeeNBA) December 14, 2015
D'Angelo Russell previously supported Brown by going to one of his games when he was with the D-Fenders in November, and this time Jordan Clarkson joined him:
Unfortunately for Clarkson, watching Black dunk everything in sight probably only made him miss Black rolling to the rim as his pick and roll partner more. Black would also help struggling sophomore Julius Randle, but it remains to be seen when he will return to the Lakers' rotation.