The Los Angeles Lakers' Summer League team opened with a loss, but you couldn't tell from an arena that was filled to the brim with Lakers fans. The Thomas and Mack Center was booming while D'Angelo Russell made his debut, and after setting a Summer League attendance record, could be even wilder while the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers play Saturday evening.
Jahlil Okafor is expected to play, giving fans a chance to watch the big man the Lakers passed over go to work for the first time. Okafor participated in the Utah Summer League, getting a tune-up before hitting the desert to show off his post moves. After getting a close look at Karl-Anthony Towns, who looked impressive in his debut, the Lakers will have to deal with another elite prospect at center.
The hope has to be that the combination of Tarik Black and reportedly-signed Robert Upshaw don't allow Okafor to get into a groove. Russell showing out and building on a successful introduction to the basketball world would be even better, though. The decision to draft D'Angelo was surprising, and looking like the more tantalizing talent than Jahlil in their first matchup would cover some ground on the fans that were ready for Jahllywood.
Julius Randle is not expected to play, sitting out the second half of the Lakers' back-to-back.
Enjoy the game, and your second look at the Lakers' young core.
Time: 5:30 p.m. PT
Station: NBA TV, TWCSN