Monthly Archive for July, 2012

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Laker Girls Off & Dancin’ at Auditions

On Saturday morning at 9 a.m. sharp, roughly 500 hopeful young ladies assembled at the Lakers practice facility for a day full of nerves and of course, dancing.

We caught up with Laker Girls Kelsey and Lindsay from the 2011-12 team to get an idea what to expect from the auditions:

Q: On coming back to auditions as a Laker Girls veteran:
Lindsay: In your first year, you have nothing to lose. You’re just so excited, wondering if you’ll make it and anticipating that it could be the most joyful thing you’ve experienced in dance. But coming back the following year, you know what you could lose, so there’s a real fire that’s driving all of us returners.
Kelsey: I completely agree with Lindsay. I think I’m coming back a little more confident knowing what to expect at the actual audition, but I’m that much more nervous because I want it that much more.

Q: On learning what to expect from the previous season’s audition process:
Lindsay: I feel like everyone who tries out has to be humble, and even if you think you’re the greatest dancer in the world you have to come into this organization very much respectful of the process and the opportunity. There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness, a fine line that you have to keep in mind in front of the judges.
Kelsey: This is definitely humbling as we watch the (new prospective dancers) do the “Across the Floor*” segment. There are so many incredible dancers that have come here trying to be a part of the team. It makes me grateful for what I had last season. If there’s anything that might help those of us returning it’s that we had a year to work within the Laker Girls style, which is very sharp, very crisp and very energetic. Having practiced that for a year does make me feel a bit more ready, but at the same time, there are a lot of girls here that are all bringing it.
*This is the segment where all of the new prospective Laker Girls run across the floor doing a basic routine taught quickly by Director Lisa Estrada’s assistants in groups of three. When the girls get to the end, they’re either given a wristband that means they’ve made it to the next round, or not, meaning they’re thanked for coming and cut. Returning Laker Girls do not have to go through this segment.

Q: On what to expect during the long day:
Lindsay: After the Across the Floor segment, we learn a dance combination for about 20 minutes, and then perform it. If you survive that cut, you make it to another round of choreography. And so on…
Kelsey: Right, and you try to pick that choreography up as soon you can, then try to get the style down and all the corrections you can have for yourself. Then you give it your all, with your energy, personality and everything else they might be looking for.

Q: On waiting to hear one’s number get called after a routine:
Lindsay: I think I just held my breath last year, every time. Then if you hear your number, it’s just this huge exhale. It’s crazy.
Kelsey: My heart beats very, very hard. And meanwhile you’re rooting for your friends to make it as well. We’re very excited!

Lakers Beat Clips to Close Summer League

For the first time in L.A.’s last two trips to Las Vegas, the Lakers came out with a victory by defeating the Clippers 75-69 on Thursday, snapping a nine-game losing streak that began in the summer of 2010.

Several Lakers played a hand in the victory: Christian Eyenga scoring 22 points on 10 of 15 shooting; Darius Morris nearing a triple-double with 11 points; nine assists and eight boards, Australian Julian Khazzouh scoring 16 points (four three-pointers); and Andrew Goudelock adding 12 of his own.

Big men Robert Sacre and Reeves Nelson combined for 19 rebounds and four blocks and did the proverbial dirty work to help hold the Clippers down despite former Laker Adam Morrison’s 22 points.

The Lakers had struggled considerably in two of their first three games, if competing better in the second and fourth, but Thursday’s was certainly the best all-around effort. The team had been plagued by a lack of cohesion and ball movement, as several players looking to make the senior squad in training camp figured out how to play with one another in balanced fashion.

The three-point line was collectively kind as both teams hit 8 of 17 bombs, with Khazzouh’s four leading the way and Goudelock adding two and Morrison three. Overall, LAL hit 43.8 percent from the field and LAC 43.9 percent, while turnovers were close as well (15-13 LAC).

Several of the game’s highlights were provided by Eyenga, whose slashes to the rim both in transition and in the half court resulted in three hammer dunks, all eliciting roars from the fans in Sin City. The Lakers coaches have been impressed with Eyenga’s work ethic in the offseason – nobody spent more time at the team’s facility – and were surely pleased to see a strong overall game after he’d been hot and cold in the first four contests.

The team is set to return to Los Angeles on Friday morning, with many hoping to get a call to come back to L.A. for October’s training camp with guys named Kobe, Pau, Steve and Andrew.

Kobe, Team USA Cruise past Great Britain

Kobe Bryant and Team USA coasted to a blowout 118-78 win over Great Britain in Manchester, England, on Thursday evening across the pond in the most recent tune up for the upcoming London Olympics.

With buckets so easy to come by for the uber-athletic Team USA, Bryant had to do little of what he does best (you know … scoring), instead focusing on moving the ball with some extra passes and locking down on the defensive end.

Likely to the pleasure of Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike Brown, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski kept his oldest Olympian’s minutes down, saving Kobe’s legs for the games that count.

During the 18 minutes he was on the floor, Bryant took only three shots towards his five points (3 of 4 free throws) plus three assists and five boards with two steals. His personal highlight came on a pretty turnaround J in the first quarter after a ball fake sent a doubling defender the wrong way.

Bryant found Brooklyn’s Deron Williams for two of his five triples, and it was D-Will that blew the game wide open with a 14-point scoring barrage in the first four minutes of the third quarter, putting Team USA up by 30.

The Americans shot 60 percent from the field, dunking here, there and everywhere (the Beatles are from Liverpool, not Manchester, but who’s counting), and forced 26 Great Britain turnovers with great ball pressure on defense.

Up next for Kobe and Co. is a Sunday contest against Argentina, a matchup expected to be more closely contested than what we saw on Thursday.

Podcast: Bill Bertka from Vegas

In his 44 years in the NBA, Lakers Director of Scouting/Basketball Consultant Bill Bertka has forgotten more about the game than most have ever learned (this is a time when that cliche actually works).

Bertka is revered around NBA circles, from front offices and coaches to the players. Most recently, Steve Nash was thrilled to chat with Bertka when entering the team’s office for the first time.

Always a fan of watching and helping develop young players, Bertka never misses the summer league, which brought him to Las Vegas last week. From his hotel room, Bertka touched on the summer league roster, but talked to us mostly about more meaty basketball items.

Among the topics: what would the best possible basketball team look like (Bertka used to fantasize with Pat Riley about a team featuring Magic Johnson at all five positions); what’s the best way to play basketball and how has the game changed from his earliest days in the NBA; the rise of athleticism and decrease of post play; and more.

To listen, click below:

Morris Shines in Summer Loss to Spurs

The Lakers dropped their fourth consecutive summer league contest on Tuesday afternoon against the Spurs, 92-81, but got a strong individual game from point guard Darius Morris to highlight a better all-around team effort.

In three quarters of action, Morris did not miss a shot from the field, connecting on all nine of his attempts, plus six free throws to hit a Lakers summer league high 24 points with his team-high four assists. L.A.’s summer league coach Chuck Person opted to rest Morris in the fourth, letting rookie Darius Johnson-Odom and second-year guard Andrew Goudelock get some extra minutes.

The Lakers would get as close as six points with two minutes to play before Spurs wing Kawhi Leonard, who starts for their senior squad alongside Tim Duncan and Co., proved too much with his game-high 27 points and eight boards.

L.A. got 14 points and seven boards from 60th pick Robert Sacre in his 26 minutes, but it was Morris who took the game ball, showing some of the promise that helped make him the 41st selection in the 2011 Draft.

A big point guard at 6-4, Morris led the Big 10 and ranked fifth in the country in assists during his sophomore year at Michigan. He put on a good deal of muscle in his rookie year that he showed off while finishing through traffic in the paint on Tuesday.

He told us after a 50-point blowout loss to Miami in the team’s third game that he was disappointed with his performance in the first three contests, and wanted to respond against San Antonio with the kind of game he’s capable of playing.

Morris knows that, of course, Steve Nash and Steve Blake are ahead of him on the team’s depth chart on the senior squad, but treated the Nash acquisition with excitement, as he’s eager to learn tricks of the trade from one of the best to ever do it.

Still just 21 years old, Morris has plenty of room to grow, and – at least until training camp – one more contest to show L.A.’s brass how far he’s come in a year.

Game Notes:
- Christian Eyenga added 13 points and four rebounds with a block in 30 minutes of action.
- Andrew Goudelock played only 18 minutes, scoring seven points on 3 of 7 field goals, including one of his patented floaters.
- Reeves Nelson provided some terrific energy off the bench towards a game team-high +13 while he was on the court. He grabbed three boards with a block and five points in his 15 minutes.
- No. 55 pick Darius Johnson-Odom grabbed four boards in his 13 minutes, and continued to play solid on-ball defense on the perimeter.
- After shooting in the 20′s against Miami in a 50-point loss, L.A. shot an impressive 51.7 percent from the field, but allowed 47.8 percent to San Antonio, who made five more three pointers than L.A.’s one in seven attempts.

Lakers Drop Third Straight in Vegas

After a much-improved effort in Friday’s second summer league loss to Sacramento, the Lakers fell back to their poor form from an opening loss to Golden State by being blown out 106-56 by Miami on Monday in Las Vegas.

Darius Morris and Christian Eyenga combined for 25 points, but needed 29 shots to get there, symbolic of an 18 for 68 (26.5 percent) shooting performance by the team that had L.A. trailing by double figures just five minutes into the game.

While beating teams featuring lottery picks like Harrison Barnes (GSW) and Thomas Robinson (SAC) and second year players like Klay Thompson (GSW) and Norris Cole (MIA) isn’t necessarily an expectation for L.A., Chuck Person and his staff have been looking for better energy and effort.

This because several of the players — from Christian Eyenga, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock to rookies Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre — have a chance to fight for either minutes on the floor or a place on the team once training camp starts in October.

L.A. did do some good work on the offensive glass, grabbing 12 boards to Miami’s four to win the board battle 37-34, but that was about the only bright spot on the stat sheet.

From an individual standpoint, Eyenga used his athleticism to get to the rim, but struggled to finish, hitting only 3 of 12 shots, while Morris continually probed the paint but also failed to convert most of his attempts, making just 4 of 17. One can usually count upon Goudelock for some scoring, but he too struggled, hitting only 2 of 10 field goals.

The 7-foot Sacre had just one rebound in his 32 minutes to go with nine points, while Johnson-Odom turned the ball over five times, masking some good on-the-ball defense, though he did match Morris with three assists.

L.A. has two more chances to get a win in Vegas, first against the Spurs on Tuesday and finally against the Clippers on Thursday, the five aforementioned players all looking to show the team’s coaches and brass that they have more to offer than has been shown thus far.

Kupchak Checks in from Vegas

We caught up with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak prior to the tip of L.A.’s third summer league game in Las Vegas to discuss how the Steve Nash acquisition impacts the rest of free agency (and may encourage veterans to sign with the Lakers), what Dr. Jerry Buss considers before signing off on something, what Kupchak focuses on at summer league and more.

Q: On how he’s thinking about the Steve Nash acquisition a week later:
Kupchak: Clearly it was a significant signing. The more I think about it – which is not much because you don’t have time to let your mind wander this time of year – the more I know it’s going to make our team better. You have visions of Steve directing traffic throughout the game and especially at the end of quarters, making it easier for Pau (Gasol) and Andrew (Bynum) and Kobe (Bryant). You envision lob passes, pick and rolls, pick and pops. You look at Kobe’s energy being conserved where he doesn’t have to go out and create a shot whenever you need one. So when you take the time to think about it, it’s going to be fun to watch.

Q: On Nash’s impact on how the Lakers approach the rest of the offseason in terms of player acquisition:
Kupchak: Compensation normally drives the free agent market, but every offseason, there are going to be certain players that have limited options for various reasons like age, injuries or financial considerations. Those types of players often try to find a place where they can play for a year, either to win a championship or to see what it’s like to contend for a championship, or maybe learn under certain players on your team. So those kinds of opportunities will be there for us this summer just by adding Steve Nash. Some of the veteran players that haven’t won a championship may look to Los Angeles to try and win one, like some of the names that are being talked about.

Q: On preferring veteran’s minimum contracts to fill out the roster:
Kupchak: That’s the only way we can fill out our roster. With the new collective bargaining rules, it restricts what we can do. Right now, I don’t think we’ll use the mini mid-level exception. But other than that, all we have is the minimums. And with five high-salaried players, there’s only so much you can expect the owner to do, whether the rules permitted or not. I think we’ve demonstrated that this organization wants to win with the Steve Nash signing, but you can’t just go out there and sign the world.

Q: On Dr. Buss always being willing to spend money if shown that a move can help the team (i.e. using the trade exception from the Lamar Odom trade to acquire Nash):
Kupchak: Dr. Buss has always had a position not so much of giving a budget, but more like, ‘Tell me whom you’re thinking of signing, and I’ll tell you if I’ll do it or not.’ In his mind, he’s just not going to spend money to spend money. If it’s going to translate into a dramatic difference in the team make up, in wins or losses or excitement on the court, he makes a quick decision.

Q: On his split of time between talking to other GM’s and agents and watching the summer league games in Vegas:
Kupchak: I’d say it’s been business as usual, which at this time of the year means a lot of phone calls, a lot of discussions and meetings with ownership talking through different scenarios and possibilities. The fun part is the summer league aspect, watching young kids play, and hopefully seeing a player worthy of being invited to training camp and making the team. It’s also fun to watch high draft picks on other teams, guys you’ve seen play at college but not against each other at this level.

Q: On assessing the young players on the summer league roster:
Kupchak: Any time we draft a player, we feel he’s good enough for a shot to make our team. That’s what we believe in, but the reality is, historically, a player drafted late in the second round is unlikely to make your team. Keeping that in mind, during summer league we look for parts of the players on our roster’s games that translate to the next level. Even if they play well, it doesn’t mean they’re good enough to make our roster, but it probably means they’re good enough to invite to our training camp in the fall. Then they go up against NBA players like Kobe, Steve Blake, Andrew and Pau and so on and you find out how good the young players are. At that point, you assess their potential.

Steve Nash: Focus on Hoops

If you watched Steve Nash’s introductory press conference* on last week, you saw him field a variety of questions regarding the details behind his acquisition and his excitement about being in Los Angeles on one hand, and hoops questions on the other.
*Here are Part 1 and Part 2.

Let’s focus on the basketball, shall we?

Below is a transcription of Nash’s responses to hoops questions, followed by some editor’s notes to expound a bit on what the two-time MVP had to offer:

Q: On why running the pick and roll is a team concept and not just a two-man set, and on teammates ideally making the game easier for one another:
Nash: I look forward to playing the pick and roll with everybody. The great thing about the pick and roll is that it’s a five-man set, even though we call it a two-man game, because the defense has to use all five guys to stop it. It’s the most difficult play to stop in basketball. When they choose to guard it one way, we can make them pay somewhere else. It hopefully is a situation where the Lakers can continue to play the way they’ve been playing, and perhaps I can bring a new angle to the team as far as running pick and rolls to add to the offense and make us more difficult to guard, take pressure off Kobe (Bryant) and the big guys to make plays and make the game a little easier for everybody. I think the beauty of it is that when you’re running pick and rolls, everyone just by being on the floor in their positions makes each other better by what they bring to the table. The idea is for us to make the game easier for each other, and not just (to) highlight Andrew (Bynum) … Kobe … Pau (Gasol) or myself, it’s (to) all make this game easier for each other and put the defense in positions where they have to make choices that they’re not comfortable with and make them pay for it.

Editor’s Note: The specific question to Nash was which player he most wanted to run P&R with, and his answer shows how he thinks about basketball in a full team concept. While playing against L.A. last season in particular, Nash could notice that the offense didn’t flow smoothly at times, but often relied upon one of the three stars to create individually. That’s not how he likes to play, instead favoring a style that “makes this game easier for each other.” That can help not only on the court but in the locker room, fostering a better team vibe.

Q: On where Nash sees his addition helping L.A. the most, and his theme that he tries to bring:
Nash: I feel like most importantly I can help (the Lakers) with pick and rolls and facilitating, making decisions, making the game easier and taking some pressure off Kobe. Frankly, I think he’s had to take on so much, that it will be nice for him to maybe get a few more easy baskets, to not have to expend so much energy. And hopefully I can spread the floor a little bit with my shooting ability so that Andrew and Pau have a little more room to roam. The theme for me is to try and make each other better by putting ourselves in a position to play to our strengths and make the defense make tough decisions. We have a lot of guys on the team that can score or make plays on their own accord without having to share or to use each other, but the power of those pieces increases exponentially when you use them in concert and can allow the ball to do a lot of the work, allow your intelligence and cohesion to do a lot of the work.

EN: Nash’s “theme” as expounded in bold is eloquently stated and makes too much sense. He acknowledged that there’s a difference between saying it and doing it, but such a plan is very much more possible for a team with Nash than one without. Lamar Odom was able to foster some of that style of play during the two championship runs, but it’s been a hallmark of Nash’s career to push the collective through individuals joining together. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot.

Nash also mentioned how his shooting can take pressure off the bigs. Certainly, teams won’t be able to throw brazen double teams — as they did in the 2012 postseason — towards Bynum or Gasol (or Kobe when posting up) if Nash is spotting up. His career shooting numbers are among the best in NBA history.

On the work to be done towards meshing his style with what L.A. has on the roster:
Nash: Everyone has to be unselfish and willing to work for the greater good, but I don’t think that’s a problem. These guys have won championships, so they know what that’s all about. Hopefully that’s been an ethos of my career. I look forward to it. I think it’s going to be a fun opportunity for us to figure how we best fit and to work every day to get there. Basketball is basketball; people can sometimes get carried away with, ‘Well, Steve Nash is a run and gun player.’ Frankly the Suns haven’t run for about five or six years, that much. (Phoenix was) a pick and roll team (that) liked to move the ball and create penetration and kick opportunities because we never had a post up player. With a post up player, I’m sure it’ll make the game easier for me, and we have a couple of those (plus) Kobe’s ability down low as well. I think that’s the exciting part is there’s a lot of versatility, a lot of different ways to go about this and that brings a lot of work, to figure out how to become efficient in all those ways that we can be potent.

EN: Nash almost shrugged when he said “basketball is basketball,” which could be translated as, “We’ll figure it out.” When you have four guys that are All-Star level players, meshing styles can be easier than having players lacking as many skills. Nash sees the versatility on offense as increasing the ceiling for the team, with peak efficiency being the goal.

Q: On if he has thought about playing with 7-footers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum:
Nash: ‘Thought’ is not the word, ‘dreamt’ is the word, to get to play with two guys with the ability that they have, the size and length is a dream come true for a point guard. Not to mention Kobe (Bryant), one of the greatest players to ever play the game. It’s an exciting project to take on to say the least.

EN: Nash has played with some excellent big players in his career, from Dirk Nowitzki to Amare Stoudemire and still-improving Marcin Gortat, but no true back-to-the-basket centers like Bynum, or a player like Gasol that excels in the pivot and can also play in the high post. It’s thus an exciting prospect for Nash to have those new options, as he’s so adept at putting defenses in jeopardy.

Q: On basketball as his top priority and passion:
Nash: I enjoy playing basketball. All the other stuff I do is secondary to basketball. I don’t feel peaceful unless I come in early to practice, get my shots up, lift weights, have a good session and get ready to play in the games. I could care less how much or how little attention the team gets; I’m (focused on) getting ready to play.

EN: Nash was asked what he thought about the increased media attention in Los Angeles, and obviously, it’s very much secondary to him (like his film interests). Earlier, the Canadian discussed the bond he shares with Bryant over hard work, something the two can sense (takes one to know one). You don’t build the kind of skills each has without near-maniacal dedication.

Can DJO’s D Help the Lakers?

The Lakers lost 84-72 to Sacramento to fall to 0-2 in the Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday evening, but assistant Chuck Person isn’t overly focused on the win/loss column when reporting back to coach Mike Brown and GM Mitch Kupchak.

“We’re trying to see who can fill our voids when the regular season starts, see if anybody can crack the rotation and be a contributor when the games count,” said Person. “It’s more about that than results right now.”

One such player trying to prove that he can play with the varsity squad is combo guard Darius Johnson-Odom, the 55th pick in June 28th’s Draft, who has impressed L.A.’s brass particularly on the defensive end. That the Lakers look to such a deep second round pick shows the difference between them and the many organizations who feature lottery picks that will be depended upon to make an impact.

With a need to get playoff-ready performers to compliment the core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and thus a lack of a first round draft pick — let alone a lottery pick — in the past few seasons, L.A. has instead filled the back end of its roster with a bevy of second rounders.

In fact, the summer league squad features five players taken (mostly later) in the second round of the past three seasons: Darius Morris; Andrew Goudelock; Ater Majok; Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre.

Morris and Goudelock proved capable of handling limited minutes during their rookie season. Both flashed signs of improvement at the first two games in Vegas, but neither was able to crack Mike Brown’s shortened playoff rotation. On Friday, the two saw their team dominated by a lottery-loaded Golden State team featuring Klay Thompson (2011 No. 11) and Harrison Barnes (2012 No. 7). Morris in particular was better against the Kings, scoring a team-high 17 points in 24 minutes, while Johnson-Odom’s defense sparked an improved team effort that produced a lead until late in the third.

Goudelock can score at the NBA level and Morris is showing signs of making plays and finishing at the rim with a stronger body, but for L.A.’s needs, DJO’s D may be most appealing.

“He’s defending very well and playing hard,” said L.A. assistant GM Glenn Carraro. “He’s extremely athletic – his numbers were off the charts when we tested him. We think he can guard the quicker point guards in the NBA, and he’s also handling the ball pretty well, so we feel good about where he can go.”

Johnson-Odom’s first action on Saturday came shortly after the 5-minute mark, when he checked in to check Jimmer Fredette, a big-time college scorer who averaged 7.6 points in 18.6 minutes as a rookie on 38.6 percent from the field. Fredette had trouble creating any space with the combo of Johnson-Odom and Christian Eyenga, finishing just 3 for 11.

DJO isn’t tall (he’s generously listed at 6-3), but he’s very strong and quick, a combination that reminds of an early Ron Artest, who moved his feet so well yet also had the strength to dissuade driving lanes.

“You have to have a drive to play defense,” Carraro continued. “It has to be in your DNA, and Darius definitely has it. He doesn’t back down from anyone and that’s great. It’s something we need.”

Johnson-Odom didn’t have as much success on the offensive end, hitting 3 of 10 shots after an 0 for 8 debut on Friday, but Lakers player development coach Phil Handy said he’s a capable shooter technique wise, which is backed up by acceptable shooting percentages in his three years at Marquette. He scored 18.6 points per game in 2011-12, behind 44.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three.

“I was known to be able to score in college, but I want to show everyone at the NBA level that I’m a great defender,” DJO offered. “If I hopefully make the team, I’m going to need to make open shots and good decisions with the ball, but I’m not going to be needed to score. I want to provide an energy boost and guard the best perimeter player.”

Johnson-Odom, who packs 217 pounds into his frame, explained that while he’s always been sturdy, he had a football coach that put him on a lifting program without off days — including on game days — that he found helped him with his general strength and with his shot.

That’s something that helps on D, to the point that Person said he thinks DJO could be used on explosive guards like OKC’s Russell Westbrook or Chicago’s Derrick Rose.

“I feel like I can keep close enough with guys that are bigger or longer to make it hard for them to get shots off, and I also have a long wingspan that I try to use to the best of my ability,” said DJO. “And I’m going to keep getting better.”

Johnson-Odom has three more games to build upon what he’s started in Vegas, and with perimeter defense standing out as a need for the senior squad, he’s off on the right foot.

Vegas Game #1: Lakers – Warriors

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Friday evening summer league debut in Las Vegas, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Lakers: Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Christian Eyenga, Chinemulu Elonu, Robert Sacre
Warriors: C. Jenkins, K. Thompson, H. Barnes, F. Ezeli, J. Tyler

5:00 Calling the first five minutes a “slow start” would be an understatement … a series of clanked LAL jumpers resulted in Warriors run outs, and along with two Klay Thompson triples produced a 15-2 deficit. In fairness, Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins all started for an injury-depleted Warriors squad for the final few NBA weeks, and their experience/confidence showed early.

2:57 Then we got our first look at Darius Johnson-Odom, the team’s draft day acquisition from Dallas (No. 55 pick) out of Marquette. He immediately offered two solid possessions of perimeter D, reminding us that GM Mitch Kupchak said we’d like his energy and attitude on the floor. An ability to inject a shot of energy plus some perimeter D from the guard spot (he’s a classic combo guy) is perhaps DJO’s best chance at earning some minutes off the bench should he make the roster. Alas, after one, L.A. trailed 24-12.

6:47 Showing that he didn’t forget how to score, Goudelock converted another J, and Johnson-Odom added free throws to get L.A. within 13. DJO’s D continued to be a boost.

2:50 Nobody spent more time at L.A.’s practice facility since season’s end than Christian Eyenga, who routinely worked with player development coach Phil Handy and other coaches on his handle and shot in particular. He had a slow start from the field, missing his first four, but announced his presence with an emphatic put-back slam off a miss in the lane. Eyenga’s athleticism has never been questioned, but he’s still working towards learning the game to the point of being a consistent contributor. The half closed at 40-26 GSW after four straight Darius Morris points, L.A. being outscored only by a point (25-24) after the 15-2 Warriors start.

3:43 With Thompson and Barnes again leading the way, Golden State pushed its lead back up to 19 at 52-33. Morris had a few nice slashes to produce buckets for teammates (three assists with four boards), and Goudelock added a triple (12 points), but L.A. was shooting only 26.1 percent. In other news, the media room had chicken fingers with buffalo sauce, which was nice.

0:00 With his father and Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson watching in the stands, Klay buried four triples in the quarter alone, six in the game, to blow the game open at 68-36. Barnes added three more triples himself, reaching 23 points to Thompson’s 24, the two a combined 17 of 26 from the field. #lotterypicks

5:00 With the deficit growing to 77-38, L.A. coach Chuck Person continued to give burn to Goudelock, Morris, Johnson-Odom, Eyenga, Ater Majok and Sacre, the six guys selected in the second round of the past two drafts. Goudelock led the way with 14 points, Morris 11 and Eyenga eight, but being doubled on the scoreboard preempted any individual stats.

0:00 The bright spots were few and far between in a tough opener for the Lakers, simply outclassed by Barnes and Thompson, though Johnson-Odom’s D, Goudelock’s scoring and some driving and dishing from Morris showed something. We’ll see if L.A. can get better tomorrow against Sacramento, but your final in this one: GSW 91, LAL 50.