Marcelo Huertas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers point guard Marcelo Huertas, a 32-year-old rookie out of Brazil, was on the court in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 90-87 loss to the New York Knicks at Staples Center, instead of 20-year-old rookie D’Angelo Russell.
Huertas scored nine points and doled out two assists while grabbing four rebounds. Guard Lou Williams, who played for the first time after missing five games with a hamstring injury, liked what he saw from Huertas and the rest of the second unit.
“It’s just that we play together,” said Williams, who scored 15 points off the bench. “I think Marcelo does a great job of keeping everything organized. For whatever reason, we’re just a selfless group. We don’t really care who gets the credit. Everybody has a role on that second group and we just go out and try to execute the best we can.”
Russell also praised Huertas.
“He knows the game,” Russell said. “People look at him and, I don’t know, you probably would say he doesn’t fit the eye test. But the guy knows his game. He knows basketball. He makes the right play 90 percent of the time.”
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.
(Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)
The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Other than that, everything has gone well for the Lakers.
“We don’t have chemistry problems. Our guys get along,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after practice Friday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. “We just don’t trust each other on the floor.”
Scott then mentioned how the team has several ball-dominant players, including Bryant, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams and Nick Young.
“Guys sometimes want the ball in their hands and they don’t trust making passes to other guys. We have to get to the point where the ball doesn’t stick and we find open guys,” Scott said. “When you have young guys that are so used to having the ball, getting rid of it is sometimes an issue. That’s what we’re trying to break.”
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The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was cleared for practice earlier this month after tearing his rotator cuff in January. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer
Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. called Kobe Bryant’s mere presence in the room at the Lakers’ media day on Monday “electrifying.”
Bryant commanded the attention of a gym’s worth of reporters, and the 37-year-old was a primary topic of conversation in interviews with other Lakers players as well as he prepares for his 20th NBA season.
Bryant was cleared for practice earlier this month after suffering a right shoulder injury in January. His teammates haven’t seen him in action on the court yet, but they expressed nothing by confidence in Bryant.
“It’s Kobe,” center Tarik Black said. “You know he’s been in the gym. He’s put up a million shots. He’s probably in better shape than even myself. He’s probably going to be able to outrun me because that’s Kobe and that’s what he does.”
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