(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers vs. Nets: 3 Things to Know (10/12/19)
On to Shenzhen!
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers play their second game in China against the Brooklyn Nets:
1) Caruso and Rondo gaining ground?
Alex Caruso (11 points, eight assists) was just shy of a double-double in 24 minutes of the bench and could get a chance to start this time around if Frank Vogel keeps shuffling the starting five.
The Texas A&M product also chipped in three steals (the Lakers had 14 against the Nets) and looked just as efficient on the defensive end. His three-point shot looked good again, as he tries to prove that his team-leading 48.0% from last season (albeit in a small sample size) wasn’t a fluke.
Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo started and stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points (with a pair of makes from beyond the arc), five boards and six assists, and showed decent chemistry with former teammate Anthony Davis. Rondo’s 25 minutes were second only to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 35 among the main candidates to be in the perimeter rotation.
2) McGee in mid-season form
Despite coming off the bench, JaVale McGee showed he’s ready to make an impact in whatever role he’s assigned. The veteran center was a highlight machine on defense, blocking five shots on top of his six points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
Dwight Howard got the starting nod on Saturday and played 19 minutes to McGee’s 18.
All in all, both big men look healthy and spry, and together promise to cover a good chunk of the minutes at the center spot once the season gets underway.
No easy buckets pic.twitter.com/JQVxitBMf5— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 10, 2019
3) Both teams’ outside shooting
The Nets were +27 from beyond the arc after shooting 20-for-41 – with at least five players with 3 apiece – so that will surely be a point of emphasis for Vogel’s crew.
Having McGee and Howard drop back so often made it more difficult for the defense to recover and guard the perimeter properly. And despite Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan being non-shooters, the Nets’ stretch 4’s (Rodions Kurucs and Taurean Prince) found themselves open often and made the Lakers pay.
On the other end, the Lakers shot a solid 11-for-29 (39.3%) from deep, in part buoyed by Caruso’s three makes. Caldwell-Pope’s appearance in the starting lineup also gave them better spacing, and it’ll be interesting to see if Vogel sticks with that rotation.
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma (stress reaction left foot), Talen Horton-Tucker (stress reaction right foot) and DeMarcus Cousins (torn left ACL) are out.
Nets: Kevin Durant (torn Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (face) are out.
Tip-Off: 4:30 a.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Shenzhen Universiade Center — Shenzhen, China
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