The South Bay Lakers started there 2018-2019 season almost two weeks ago and got their first win Monday night.
Each season a few players return to the South Bay Lakers roster and a bunch of new hopefuls joins them for the quest to make it to the NBA under the development of Coach Coby Karl. Karl, from what I’ve seen and heard, is a players coach, much like the Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
I will be bringing you South Bay Lakers highlights from courtside this season. Sitting next to the team is quite thrilling, and hopefully, I can give you a fans perspective and catch things that I wouldn’t have seen back at the media table.
South Bay started the season out slow, losing their first two games to the Stockton Kings, and the third to the Oklahoma City Blue by a mere four points, 103-99. But on Monday night, the tide turned.
Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss sat courtside, enjoying the game. Behind and to the left of her sat Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Caldwell-Pope, and Ivica Zubac (played a lot for South Bay the last two seasons).
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Alex Caruso was the star of the game, hands down, scoring 26 points and dishing 11 assists with one steal and grabbing seven rebounds. He played the most minutes but produced the most points and ended with a +13 followed by Scott Machado at +4, a returner we are extremely happy to have back. Machado scored 16 points, added six dimes and four rebounds, two crucial in the final minutes.
An offensive rebound by Machado, who drove to the basket to get the two points SB needed for a tie ended in a pass to the hot-handed Caruso for a beautiful three-pointer to take the lead. Scottie and AC together had the team in hyper mode. It was these two hoopers willed the team to win their first of the season. And man, it felt good!
The Lakers in attendance stayed the entire game, and it was worth it. Rookie Moritz Wagner improved and shot 60 percent, making 6-of-10 shots for 16 points.
His recovery is hindering a little of his lateral movement, so look for Moe to continue to improve. He is one of the most animated players on the court and on the bench, he cares. He once reached out to Demarcus Holland on the baseline and patted him on the side of his face in support, it was endearing, to be honest.
I’m still looking for more from Svi. He played 31 minutes and went 6-of-20. At times, he missed several shots in a row when the team needed it. As the game went on, he got warmed up and performed better scoring 13 points in the third quarter, making 6-of-7 attempts from the charity stripe. SB was ahead in the first quarter by five points, but fell behind in the next two quarters and headed into the fourth quarter behind by 11 points, 95-84.
South Bay outscored them by 12 points in the fourth quarter to win the game by one point. But that’s all you need, right?
Newbie Jemerrio Jones, a 6-foot-5 guard, contributed over twenty minutes and made all three of his shots.
Six SB Lakers ended the night in double-digits, so you can’t say they aren’t sharing the ball. I have seen a lot of ball movement so far this season and with an ever-changing roster that’s impressive.
Here are some highlights from opening night from my vantage point which is so enjoyable I can’t even verbalize it.
Please, I implore you, came to the Lakers practice facility, or UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo to cheer on your South Bay Lakers. It’s some of the most exciting basketball in Los Angeles and you never know who will show up!
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