When: 9:30pm EDT
Where: Thomas & Mack Center; Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: NBATV
The Summer League Hornets are still searching for their first win since July 5th, 2019. That is three years and five days, or 1,101 days. I will continue to talk about this from this point forward until they win a game.
The Hornets looked like a bit of a disorganized mess in their 2022 Summer League debut, much like they did in last year’s exhibition slate. A fourth quarter rally made the score line look respectable, but they were run off the floor by the Pacers on Friday. They’ll try to bounce back against the Lakers, who were also run off the floor by their opponent on Friday night.
The Lakers are not a team that want to build through the draft and internal development, and their summer league roster shows that. None of the players they feature are expected to contribute to the big club this coming season, or perhaps any season in the foreseeable future. Scotty Pippen Jr. (who spells Scotty differently than his dad, confusingly enough) is the focal point of the team, while Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef is the other big draw, though that’s more due to name than ability.
The Hornets will want to see much better performances from their rostered players, especially offensively. JT Thor had as many turnovers as he did points (five) while missing six free throws. Kai Jones attempted 10 3-pointers and missed every single one, some of which were very very bad (though he did look good on a few drives from the perimeter to be fair). Mark Williams looked rushed and uncomfortable when the ball made its way to him. They all looked pretty good defensively, but their offense was hard to watch.
Nick Richards will want to build off his strong opening performance where he pretty clearly set himself apart as the most established NBA player on the roster. Bryce McGowens showed a lot of exciting potential both as a shot maker and a shot creator. The Hornets will want to see him continue that, and they badly need the strong guard play in the summer league setting.
In other halfway exciting news from a human interest standpoint, LiAngelo Ball has cleared health and safety protocols and should be available tonight, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be in the rotation since he’s only had one day of practice. He had some fun moments last summer league when he got hot. The Hornets need some of that.