Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said that about 80 percent of training camp so far has still been teaching and attention to detail, although the players did get their first crack at scrimmaging during their second practice on Wednesday evening.
As expected, Walton said the scrimmages were a bit sloppy (players trying to play too fast, too many fouls and turnovers), but he was very pleased with the effort, as he has been since the start of camp. Walton did say Marcelo Huertas stood out in the scrimmages, as well as Julius Randle, but everyone was up and down all night.
“Marcelo, he’s like having a coach out there,” Walton said. “We have so much new stuff going on, and he’s constantly helping the other guys with where they should be. He just understands how to play basketball, so he was getting guys wide open shots the entire practice,” Walton said. “The way he was running the teams’ offense in the scrimmage was really impressive.”
Defensively, rookie Brandon Ingram has clearly been doing something right.
“Brandon’s defense was phenomenal last night,” Walton said Thursday. “He’s starting to understand how to really use his length and fighting over screens and contesting jump shots and making people miss, so that was the most impressive part to his game last night.”
Offensively, Walton said they did a ton of 5-0 drills during Thursday’s first session, starting with transition drills and ending with some of the sets they started to put in Wednesday.
A lot of talk has been made about who the leaders are on this Lakers squad, and Walton has started to emphasize that different players are leading in a variety of ways. One of those players is Lou Williams, who is entering his twelfth year in the league. Williams has been around D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle for the past year and while he wants to give advice and lead by example, he also doesn’t want to be too overbearing.
“I’m trying to help whenever I can, and at the same time giving these guys the space to create their own opportunities to be leaders,” Williams said Thursday. “Obviously, it’s going to be D’Angelo and Jordan’s show. They’re expecting those guys to run it, so you don’t want to be overbearing.”
“I think they (Clarkson and Russell) understand it’s time to go, you really can’t hide behind the young guy tag forever. There’s a lot of young guys around the league making noise and they want to be a couple of those guys. So, the losing, you can’t really hide behind that for a very long time. Jordan coming into his third year, D’Angelo coming into his second year, these guys are hungry to have their own success stories now.”
For more from day three of Lakers training camp, check out our videos below. If you miss any of our videos from training camp this week, they are all in this playlist.
Drills Day 3 (Raw Footage)