Fast-Break Points: Quick Hits of the Lakers' Week
The one word never associated with the Lakers: boring.
On and off the floor, the Lakers keep it interesting, from unique skill sets and backgrounds to off-court chemistry and the latest kicks.
Here’s a quick run-through of another week with the Lake Show.
1) Josh Hart: Gamer
Josh Hart just does things the right way. Like fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma, the 30th-overall pick is outplaying his draft position and giving the Lakers valuable minutes.
In his last game at Oklahoma City, Hart had an especially impressive defensive possession against an elite scorer.
Below, Hart initially gets stuck on a screen but manages to chase down Paul George. From there, it’s 10 seconds of textbook defense.
George backs up and puts the 22-year-old on an island, but Hart survives the iso and never gives him an inch to work with.
Kuzma provides nice help defense, and Hart (a great rebounding guard) seals the possession by bringing down the board with an audible smack on the ball. He immediately pushes the pace, resulting in free throws for Brandon Ingram.
Hart wasn’t perfect against OKC and had a few growing-pain possessions, especially when posted up by Carmelo Anthony. But he never fails to compete and has a bright NBA future with his wing defense.
2) RIP Hoodie?
If you’ve been following along on Lonzo Ball’s Instagram stories, you already know the saga of Kuzma’s hoodie.
On a trip to the movies in OKC, Ball and Ingram delighted in putting Kuzma on blast for wearing the same grey fleece just about every day (butter stains and all).
But Kuz wasn’t about to let his teammates get the last laugh. Who knew that “Slender Man” was a hoops documentary and not a horror movie?
While at the theatre we also learned about what Kuz wears on a night out, the new movie B.I. is in, and said goodbye to a famous fleece. pic.twitter.com/cfYgMDobu1— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 17, 2018
3) Brook and Brandon: Kings of the Bounce
In an era where everything can be tracked — from charges drawn to the number of feet traveled on the court — we could use some data on bounce passes.
Specifically, just how good is Brook Lopez at finding angles to deliver the ball to a cutting teammate?
The big man has a unique talent for ricocheting the ball off the floor at just the right moment for an assist, often finding Brandon Ingram or Tyler Ennis.
Brook and B.I. (a gifted cutter) have been especially in sync lately, including two connections in the last game alone.
4) #LakersSneakerCam on fire
All of the Lakers’ best kicks are being compiled on the #LakersSneakerCam Twitter hashtag, as Kuzma and Ennis had some nice additions this week.
Kuz broke out a pair of special-edition Nike Kobe A.D.s for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Meanwhile, Ennis went with the Air Jordan 10 “Cool Grey” Retro.
A cool feature of Ennis’ J’s are the multicolored tiles that continue running onto the soles. Each is marked with one of Michael Jordan’s top accomplishments, from his five MVP awards to his dunk contest title.
5) Like father, like Glove
It’s not the first time the name “Payton” has been on the back of a purple and gold jersey.
Fifteen years after his Hall of Fame dad’s lone season in L.A., Gary Payton II signed a two-way contract with the Lakers, becoming the first father-son duo in team history.
The original GP famously joined a superteam of Kobe, Shaq and Karl Malone, who took Los Angeles to the 2004 NBA Finals before falling to Detroit.
A familiar face was a rookie on that squad: current coach Luke Walton.
Walton and Larry Nance Jr. can certainly relate to the younger Payton’s upbringing, as they also grew up with NBA All-Star dads.