The Los Angeles Lakers played the first game of their Summer League schedule on Friday night in Las Vegas. The team headed into Summer League play without Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, but it didn’t matter. D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac led the way along with some impressive play from Larry Nance Jr.
Following a solid all-around performance from the Lakers squad, Russell gave some high praise and a flattering comparison to his new teammate. Russell sees some Marc Gasol-like skills in Zubac’s game, via the Lakers official Twitter:
D'Angelo on @ivicazubac: "He reminds me of Marc Gasol."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 9, 2016
Coming into the first game of their Summer League campaign, all eyes were on Russell and Ingram. The two household names were the biggest draw on Friday night, but Zubac imposed his will in the paint. The Croatian center showed Lakers fans and all those in attendance at the Thomas & Mack Center exactly why the team chose the roll the dice on the 19-year-old with their second round draft pick.
Zubac was one of four Lakers players to finish with double figures in scoring. The seven-footer ended his Summer League debut with 11 points, five rebounds, three blocks, and a steal. An impressive performance from a player many never heard of a month ago.
It’s no surprise Zubac received the comparison to Gasol as he displayed quite a few attributes similar to the Memphis Grizzlies star. The rookie center also idolizing the Spanish import, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Russell said Zubac reminds him a little bit of Marc Gasol, a big body w/a nice touch/feel for hoops. Related: Gasol is Zubac’s 🏀 idol.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 9, 2016
Along with Zubac making an impression in his first game for the Lakers, many others on the Summer League roster also turned some heads on Friday night. Fellow rookie Ingram had a solid outing with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with four rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. Few players on the floor were as comfortable as the Duke product as he made it look effortless in his debut.
Russell started off slow but then gradually got going by using his size in the post. The second-year guard led all scorers with a game-high 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Nance also played well with 11 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks in a 20-point rout over Buddy Hield’s New Orleans Pelicans.