The Los Angeles Lakers finished up their final full-court 5-on-5 scrimmage, before taking on the Clippers in their season opener on Thursday night, but head coach Luke Walton said the group wasn’t as ‘locked in’ as they were during yesterday’s practice, which was also because they did less competitive drills today.
Still, Walton said it was a little unfortunate for that to happen in their last full practice before Opening Night. On a positive note, Julius Randle was cleared for full-court contact and Walton thinks he’ll be able to play Thursday (Randle is officially listed as probable on the injury report), which leads us to continued questions about the starting lineup.
Larry Nance Jr. wouldn’t ‘spill the beans’ about whether he’s starting tomorrow; however, he hints at it quite a few times in the videos below. Nance Jr. said he can’t wait to match up with Blake Griffin tomorrow, and has been studying a ton of film.
Check out what Walton has to say about potential minutes restrictions about what Lonzo Ball has to say about Opening Night. Plus, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo are back at it again with their half-court competition.
Walton on expectations for Lonzo in season opener: “Fun, there will be a big learning curve, he’s never played in this type of game before. He’s going against grown men tomorrow, a team full of them. I think he’ll rise to the challenge, like he has his whole life.”
Nance Jr. on feelings leading up to season opener: “Anxiousness, excitement, little tiny bit of nervousness that will go away as soon as the ball goes up. I just can’t wait.”
Nance Jr. on Andrew Bogut: “He’s an awesome shot blocker, we were scrimmaging yesterday and I think he had three or four trips down and back where he was just getting offensive rebounds, blocking everything they shot…He’s a bigger presence than we’ve had around here in a long time.”
Nance Jr. on what he feels he has to prove offensively: “I’m not delusional, I’m not the first option, cmon now…We’re going to get the ball to Brook, but he’s going to kill guys as soon as he starts doing that, and that opens it up for everyone else…that opens it up for B.I. to drive, Lonzo to get his shot off, opens it up for different guys to attack and that’s where I can find my strength as well, when they start going to attack him weak side, that’s when strengths start to show.”
Lonzo on opening night: “I’m going to do everythng I can to help the name on my jersey get a win.”
– Lonzo does not have any medical restrictions coming off the sprained ankle
– Lonzo thinks strength is going to be the biggest challenge for him this year
– Josh Hart is officially listed as questionable (Achilles bursitis) for Opening Night, and did not practice on Wednesday (Walton made it sound very unlikely he plays Thursday).
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does not have a broken nose (KCP got elbowed in the nose on Monday and had a CT scan on it yesterday)
– A lot of praise surrounding Bogut again at practice today
– Lonzo claims he is up 3-1 in half-court shootout competitions with Kyle Kuzma