The Lakers notched their second exhibition win on Sunday in an atmosphere that didn’t feel very exhibition-like as the Lakers finished off the Denver Nuggets, 124-115. Here are five takeaways from that game.
1. Before the Lakers played their third exhibition game, Coach Luke Walton challenged Nick Young with a little bit of his trademark positive reinforcement. Walton reminded Young that the season after Walton retired, Young’s first season with the Lakers, Young’s defense was tremendous. Young accepted the challenge and Walton described his defensive performance Sunday night as “spectacular.”
2. Walton is more interested in his team’s development than he is in forcing himself to choose a set-in-stone starting lineup by the season opener. It’s a long season, and he’s perfectly fine with continuing to shuffle his lineup early in the year.
3. Lou Williams took a charge in the first half. “We put it on the halftime edit,” Walton said. “You hope to get to the point guys want to take charges because they have that much pride in their defense.”
4. Williams hit a hot streak shooting late in the game, scoring 15 straight points in the fourth quarter. He had 25 points, two assists and three rebounds. There’s a decent chance Williams remains in the starting lineup, with Jordan Clarkson coming off the bench. Walton has liked Williams’ contributions and sees value in bringing Clarkson off the bench. “It’s more of a way of getting a starter in with the second unit so you don’t have a lot of drop off.”
5. Rebounding was a problem for the Lakers. They made up for it in other ways, but had only two offensive rebounds and were outrebounded 54-29.