Lakers Advance to Summer League Semi-Finals Behind Kuzma, Blue

On a night where Lonzo Ball wore a 4th brand of shoe (who really cares?), the Lakers completed yet another comeback win in the Las Vegas Summer League. Lonzo wasn’t quite the highlight of the night, for once. Kyle Kuzma had another big game for the Lakers with 26 points, and surely is knocking on Luke Walton’s door for a spot in the regular season rotation. 

Credit: Ethan Miller – Getty Images

Not to be overshadowed, Vander Blue was shooting lights-out in Vegas. Blue connected on 10-of-16 shots for a total of 27 points on the night. The 2016 G League MVP (formerly known as the D League) also nailed 3/5 3-point attempts, and added a couple of steals and assists.

Unfortunately for Blue, it might be a little too late for him to make the Lakers’ roster. Yesterday, Alex Caruso signed a two-year, two-way contract with the team. This is the first year of existence for two-way contracts, which allows players to split time between the G League and the NBA roster–only 45 days are allowed to be spent with the NBA team.

One of the big surprises of the night was Matt Thomas, another player unlikely to crack the roster. Thomas finished the night with a +/- of 20 (?!), scoring 17 points and securing 8 rebounds on the night. He had a very efficient shooting night, going 3/4 from downtown and 6/9 overall. 

As for Lonzo the Great, he had another poor shooting night (4/12, 1/3 behind the arc). He covered that up by hauling in 9 boards and dishing out 7 assists, but the lack of shooting efficiency is concerning. A positive to take note of is that the passes Lonzo keeps throwing down to Ivica Zubac should convert to baskets when Brook Lopez is playing Zubac’s position during the regular season.

Zubac has looked very slow this year, after a promising rookie Summer League campaign. He was active on the glass with 8 rebounds, but failed to finish at the rim on offense; he shot 3/9 on the night. However, the Lakers keep winning. After dropping their first two Summer League games, the Lakers have won four in a row as they head to the semi-finals to face off vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Tune in at 5pm PST, Sunday 7/16, to catch all of the action.

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