The Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team is headed to the semifinals of the tournament this afternoon versus the Dallas Mavericks. After losing their first two games, the Lakers have reeled off four straight victories to earn a chance to play in the championship game tomorrow night.
With each passing game, the Lakers have played better and learned how to make the right play. Lonzo Ball has played very well as he continues to push the ball up the court for easier shot opportunities.
All the running up and down the floor and playing on consecutive nights has raised the question if Lakers Summer League coach Jud Buechler will rest his players. According to Serena Winters of Lakers Nation, Buechler put that notion to rest and said he expects Ball and the other healthy players to play in today’s game.
Jud Buechler said he expects Lonzo to play tomorrow (& the rest of the healthy young guys). He knows they're tired but they're all in now.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 16, 2017
It is understandable if Buechler wanted to rest his players but they have already gotten this far and want to end the summer with a championship. It also gives the players a glimpse of the regular season grind where they will have to play back-to-backs multiple times a season. The team deserves credit for making this far and keep in mind they have done it without Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart who suffered minor injuries and are sitting for precautionary reasons.
Standing in the way of a berth in the championship is Dennis Smith Jr. and the Mavs. Smith has arguably been the most impressive rookie of the Summer League so far. The skill he displayed at North Carolina State has translated very well into Summer League play. The Lakers have a challenge on their hands but if they keep playing the way they should they will be okay.