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Lakers lose to Heat to open up Summer League Play

Los Angeles struggled offensively against Miami in the first game of the California Classic.

2023 NBA California Classic - Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers lost the opening game of the California Classic against the Miami Heat 107-90.

The team squad looked like a group of individuals that haven’t played an organized game together. The offense struggled, rim protection was non-existent and sloppy turnovers were aplenty in transition.

The Lakers will try to bounce back on Wednesday when they play the San Antonio Spurs before they head down to Las Vegas for the NBA 2K24 Summer League.

One of the few bright spots was Max Christie.

Looking like the experienced player he is, relatively speaking, he was a step ahead of his defenders and led the purple and gold with six points in the opening quarter, including an impressive coast-to-coast layup that got the Sacramento crowd activated.

The rest of the first half was all Miami. They led by as many as 20, while Nikola Jovic dominated his matchup with Colin Castleton. Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 14 points in the half, including a potential dunk of the summer on Castleton.

Jalen Hood-Schifino had a couple of nice drives in the third quarter, but Miami’s offense was humming with tremendous ball movement and absolute domination inside the paint. If you were watching this game hoping a big would emerge as a potential rotation player, then you left this game discouraged.

Miami did get cold from the field late in the third and the Lakers got within eleven but after a Heat three and a clear path foul, Miami went on a 10-4 run to close out the quarter.

With Miami up 71-53, we had garbage-time basketball in the fourth quarter of a Summer League game. L.A. never made a significant threat to win this game in the final frame and the game ended in a whimper for the lake show.

Key Takeaways

The result was ugly, but there were a couple of bright spots. Christie had a couple of nice mid-range buckets and his confidence and aggressiveness were high. Hood-Schifino looked comfortable running point and will hopefully shoot better as we continue playing games and the same for Swider, who has three-point specialist potential.

Jovic dominated Castleton, but that is likely one of the tougher matchups he’ll face this summer, so hopefully, he can bounce back on Wednesday against the Wemby-less Spurs.

Winning is why the game is played, but this is a unique scenario. These games don’t count; there is nothing to win besides chemistry and a glimpse into players’ potential against NBA-level talent. Some flashes were seen tonight, but the performances and results left much to be desired.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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