5 Things I Dug

1) Lance “Make ’em dance” Stephenson. Dude ruled the 4th quarter and almost got that gaggle of guys to eke out a meaningless win. As it is, he wasn’t able to lead the newest member of the Youth Brigade to a W. Poor shooting by the guards on the floor (Hart and KCP…one of ’em is going to back their way into that starting 2 guard spot) and great three point shooting by Denver’s future G-League team did us in. But man did Lance have some vim and vigor going for a preseason game. Lance as the starting 2? Crazier things.

2) Ivicia Zubac and Travis Wear going off in the 4th, too. A couple of guys who will, likely, play a very tiny role (if any) in the upcoming season but that 3 by Travis to bring us within 2 and Zubac’s early 4th quarter play were a lot of fun to watch. While I’m not sure Ivicia did anything more than cement his status as the possible 2nd string center, Wear has an outside shot at making the team as a 3 point specialist and last night I thought he did pretty well, all things considered.

3) The first half. So it looks to me like the plan with LeBron is have him play what I assume will be his normal-ish first half minutes schedule and then sit out the second half. This will, likely, get ramped up as we near the regular season. But the overall play of the Lakers in the first half was markedly improved. While we did give up a late three and play poorly in the waning seconds to make the score closer, both the first half and opening of the 3rd were filled with solid Laker play.

4) Kuzma at the 3 & 4. There was a line up that featured Ingram at the point, Hart at 2-guard, Kuzma at the 3, LBJ at the 4 and McGee. That line up looked great and is one that I could see being used in crunch time. Kuzma looked the most comfortable I’ve seen him all preseason (granted, 2 whole games). But Kuz has looked woefully ill-equipped when he mans the center position, especially when Luke leaves him out there against true centers and Jokic is definitely one of the elite centers in the game today. I’m certain we’ll see some line ups with the theoretical starts and Zubac, eventually.

5) Marv Albert’s mad Zubac love. Marv just loves him that big lug. Went on and on about all the work he’s put in, his footwork, how he’s lost weight, etc. I got to thinking ‘does Marv have a man crush on Ivicia or is he a stake holder in his agency or what?’ At any rate, watch those teeth, IZ, Marv’s a biter! At any rate, the TNT coverage was fairly decent, I’ll be re-watching the game on the Spectrum Sportsnet broadcast later tonight but always interesting hearing what the older players think.

***Can’t let Bonga off the hook for not taking the shot. Wake up, man, you’re the PG and one of the basic aspects of your job is knowing the clock. Learn from this one, move on, get better…but take that shot dude!***