5 Things I Dug

1) The return of Kyle Kuzma! While not a great game Sir Kyle did have a good game and had the timeliest of tips to seal the win after a pair of Ingram-missed free throws. While still using his hands too much on D, to the tune of 4 (some fairly ticky-tack) fouls, he fought through it and made an impact.. He hit a three off an Ingram pass, he over-drove the ball to the rim and actually under-shot his three ball. Through it all he kept his head in the game and hot the glass precisely on the missed free throw. Welcome back, Kyle.

2) A win!!! I don’t care if it is only preseason, the whole team was stoked and they’ve been working hard. Not 80’s Pat Riley hard, but hard. So, congrats Lakers on the first, meaningless, preseason win of the LeBron James era.

3) Luke yanking the G-Leaguers. Luke wanted the W. Wanted it on Pride Night (another Lakers kudos, Jeannie looked resplendent in her new ‘do). Coach straight wanted it. No Mike Brown’s here. Watching LeBron, JaVale and Lance on the sideline was pretty funny and makes me hope for blow out wins. And so KidCore and Lance played some of the 4th followed by Jonathon Williams to close it out, he of much heart and raw dunking power. As a fan I loved it.

4) Brandon Ingram’s side-out-of-bounds defense! 3 kicks and then the steal leading to 2 made free throws and the lead when Sacramento was threatening. Got the arena (those who were still there) on their feet, got the bench into it, got Stu Lantz into it. His overall game was smooth and in control. Need a bucket? I’ll slither my way to a layup. Need a three? Here Kyle. Maybe I’ll cut early in the game. Thanks LeBron. Ingram looks primed to flourish in the LeBron James era. Both play a complimentary style of iso ball that includes hitting the open man. Loving BI in preseason.

5) The return of KCP. Just as, if not moreso, impactful as Kyle’s bounce-back game, it did kind of feel like a slump buster for both K-players tonight. Kentavious had looked pretty lost on all fronts out there (and had some more of those moments tonight) but he found his defensive mojo and hit some regular old KCP-style buckets. Good to see because if we can coax the player we saw finish the year out a lot earlier it’ll be a real good thing. Josh Hart was also solid and represented the arrival at training camp of the primary Laker 2-guards. Welcome to camp, lads.

Addendum: Not digging the griping to the refs. Yes, there are weird new rules involving using your hands on defense. As in don’t. But I’m hoping they tone it down a bit as a team. It’s preseason, let’s find the camaraderie in finding an early rhythm.

Also, not digging said new rules. Really makes for a lot of whistles…