Game On: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Published: July 13, 2014

Is there any way that this Pelicans Summer League team can top that insane comeback from Friday night? Probably not, but beating the Lakers always feels good, even if it is just a collection of second-tier players on their Summer League team. Come to think of it, that basically is what the Lakers regular season roster is comprised of, so I will chalk this up as a legit win if Russ Smith and company can pull it off.

Obviously Russ Smith and Patric Young were the big stories coming out of the last game, but according to the Pelicans staff, this summer is supposed to be all about Withey. They got him the ball early on in the post, but he really couldn’t seem to do anything with it down there. Even though he added some strength since the regular season ended, he still had trouble getting deep position on a relatively undersized Select Team roster. But honestly, I don’t care if Withey can’t score in the low post, because he should never be asked to do that for this Pelicans team in the regular season. He is a garbage man on the offensive end who really needs to learn how to set better screens. And defensively, he is a fantastic shot blocker and changer who sometimes has a really hard time getting off the ground when he is in traffic and trying to secure a rebound.

Elsewhere, the battle continues on the wing , where James Southerland, Josh Carter, Courtney Fells, and Josh Howard are all battling for a training camp invite and a potential backup spot on the Pelicans regular season roster. Meanwhile, the Lakers are lead by a backcourt that features Kendall Marshall and 2014 second-round pick Jordan Clarkson. Kevin Murphy is another dynamic scoring guard and they have their own ‘name player’ from the past as Roddy Beaubois is on their roster. Remember, when Dallas declared Beaubois untouchable in trade talks after a decent first season? That was wise.

Julius Randle is unlikely to play, in part because of concerns with his foot and in part because he hasn’t signed with the team yet. The Lakers are likely hoarding every inch of cap room for now, and Randle’s actual deal will count for 20% more than his cap hold, so that is likely the reason that no deal has been agreed upon. It would have been great to see two SEC rivals in Randle and Young go head-to-head again, but we will just have to settle for Young eating guys like Jerome Jordan alive instead. Tip off today is at 3:30 Central, and has lowered their price for the SL package down to just $5. Must buy if you haven’t already.


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