3 Things to Know: Lakers vs. Bulls (Summer League)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers face off against the Chicago Bulls at the Las Vegas Summer League.
1) Class of ’18 is off to a strong start
Two weeks into their Lakers careers, Moe Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk are wasting little time showing fans what they can do on the court.
Through four summer league games, Wagner has done a bit of everything, averaging 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals.
He has a unique skill set for a big man, able to shoot the 3-ball and drive to the basket, while also showing quick hands and a willingness to compete defensively.
Mykhailiuk, meanwhile, has brought the shooting prowess that had the Lakers’ front office impressed at his predraft workout. With a quick-twitch release and sound mechanics, he has averaged 2.5 made 3’s a game, hitting 10-of-26 from deep this summer (38.5 percent).
The Kansas alum also has underrated athleticism, attacking the basket and shooting 10-of-16 inside the arc (62.5 percent), while displaying a competitiveness that showed via nine rebounds (many contested) in Saturday’s win over Philadelphia.
2) Waiting on Hart
For as impressive as Wagner and Mykhailiuk were in the Lakers’ rout over the Sixers, it was sophomore Josh Hart who led the squad to their win in the Vegas opener.
Hart was excellent on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he attacked the hoop and drained four 3-pointers, finishing the night with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Defensively, he held Furkan Korkmaz — who dropped 40 points and eight 3’s the night before — to just four points on a 1-of-9 clip.
The original plan was for Hart to play just one game in Las Vegas, but he has made clear his desire to continue. After Saturday’s game, he said he would talk to General Manager Rob Pelinka (who sat courtside) for permission to extend his summer league.
3) Chicago’s got some bucket-getters
The focal point of the Bulls’ roster is definitely Wendell Carter Jr., whom Chicago drafted with the seventh-overall pick last month. Carter averaged 13.5 points for Duke and could do a bit of everything, including shooting a steamy 41.3 percent from 3-point range.
They’ve also brought two flamethrowing wings: Chandler Hutchison and Antonio Blakeney.
Hutchison — a native of Mission Viejo — was drafted 22nd after dominating for Boise State last year. He was an elite slasher and good shooter at the college level, leading the Mountain West Conference in scoring with 20.0 points per game.
Speaking of scoring leaders, the G League is still recovering from Blakeney’s rookie season. Playing for the Windy City Bulls, Blakeney averaged a whopping 32.0 points as a three-level scorer who could hit 3’s, sink his trademark pull-up jumper and attack the rim.
The Lakers will need to bring it on the defensive end to keep this Chicago trio in check.
Tip-Off: 8:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet in L.A. ESPN 2 nationally
Location: Thomas & Mack Center — Las Vegas, Nevada