Lakers’ second-year wing Max Christie had himself a great summer league, solidifying in the eyes of many that he was ready to make the leap to a full-time rotation player. However, those minutes didn’t come due to a multitude of reasons, including the emergence of Cam Reddish.
All that being said, tides and opportunities turn quickly in the NBA. The tide has turned in the last week for Christie due to multiple injuries at the wing position, including Reddish missing games due to an adductor/groin issue and Rui Hachimura undergoing a procedure for a nasal fracture.
In that time, Christie faced two difficult yet distinct defensive matchups in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey. Between these two matchups, Christie flashed key attributes that hint at his defensive potential but also key things he needs to work on as well.
Let's take a closer look at the film.
Regardless of the outcome, these experiences and matchups are critical for Christie in his developmental process — particularly in learning from the failures. The fact that Darvin Ham would even trust a second-year wing with this level of responsibility is a significant step in the right direction and a testament to how the coaching staff views Max, both in the present and in the future.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.