The Los Angeles Lakers officially broke into preseason, but a 108-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves wasn’t the start a buzzing crowd was hoping to witness in Anaheim. Lakers head coach Luke Walton promised a sloppy, fast-paced outing, and that’s exactly what we got.
The first preseason game left us with plenty to think about going forward. Brandon Ingram shot confidently, stepping into his perimeter attempts without hesitation throughout the game (1-of-5 3P). He finished with 10 points, and definitely looked like he was applying the work he put into his game through the offseason to the task.
Lonzo Ball’s big debut was a mostly-quiet affair, with Ball racking up eight assists to go with five points, seven rebounds, two steals and three turnovers. Some of the passes he made should’ve been assists, while others displayed some of the growing curve he faces as a rookie guard in the NBA.
Kyle Kuzma was probably the most impressive Laker on the night overall, scoring a team-high 19 points while doing a little bit of everything on offense. Kuzma beating Karl-Anthony Towns off the dribble, then finishing with his left, was an eyebrow-raising moment.
The Lakers were killed at the charity stripe, going to the line just 16 times through the night. The Timberwolves set up a campground there, going 28-of-35. Considering it was a 10-point game, that’s certainly one area the Lakers will want to improve. The purple and gold also couldn’t find their stroke from deep, making just five of their 30 attempts from outside.
The team now has one day to digest what they learned in their first live competition before getting back to it against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. It wasn’t the celebratory start everyone was hoping for, but there’s plenty to be optimistic about after the first 48 minutes of watching this team play together.
Now, time to get back to work.