After a fast start in the opening minutes of the first quarter, the heavily depleted Lakers were woefully outmatched in Thursday’s preseason contest against the Timberwolves.
The Lakers were without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn. Thursday’s contest was the second night of a back-to-back for the Lakers after falling to Phoenix on Wednesday.
Truthfully, this was so very bad basketball for a large chunk of the contest. There were bright moments sparingly, but it’s a preseason back-to-back. It was never going to be watchable. And there’s absolute no way we’re putting together a recap, so here’s a look at some of those bright moments.
Lonnie Walker IV debut
After missing the first two preseason games, Lonnie Walker IV made his debut on Wednesday and had some flashes. Ultimately, he shot 3-of-11 but it’s a very excusable performance given how little he’s practiced this preseason.
His two brightest moments came in the second quarter when he knocked down a deep 3-point in transition and followed it up on the next possession with a nifty crossover and finish at the rim.
He won’t be judged for his performance too much yet, but he provided enough bright spots to keep fans wanting to see him more on Sunday in Golden State.
Thomas Bryant’s energy
So far this preseason, both Wenyen Gabriel and Damian Jones have been given some big opportunities and looked strong. Thomas Bryant had his longest run so far on Thursday and showed he can provide that same level of energy and effort.
Bryant was part of that strong start early on with an and-one. He tallied 18 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. He knocked down five of his eight field goals and, perhaps most importantly, eight of his 10 free throws.
He did not convert on either of his 3-point attempts, one of the primary reasons he was brought to the Lakers. But he’s still going to remain a hyper active big man with a lot of energy and is going to be hard to keep off the floor in that case.
Victor Wenbanyama is tall
Look, there wasn’t a lot else to take away from this game. Victor Wenbanyama was in attendance for the contest, though, after a pair of games in Las Vegas that drew tons of eyes from across the NBA and basketball world.
General manager Rob Pelinka took in his game on Thursday afternoon before Wenbanyama took in the Lakers game in the evening.
Victor Wembanyama meets Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis pic.twitter.com/1Vhkmsw6vk— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 7, 2022
During the broadcast, Wenbanyama joined the commentators and revealed he has been measured at 7’3” without shoes on and estimates he’s between 7’4” and 7’5” in sneakers. Keep that in mind when you see him do this.
Victor Wembanyama keeps doing absurd stuff on the court pic.twitter.com/nd0TfqEm5l— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) October 6, 2022
If you’re an ambitious Lakers fan, figure out how to trade for that No. 1 pick because my word this kid looks like he’s going to be incredible.