After receiving two full days of rest, the Lakers came back a refreshed team, topping the Wizards 132-123 on Tuesday night.
The trio of Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar and Devin Green carried the Lakers, who had six players scoring in double figures.
Bynum would record 25 points & 11 rebounds, Green had 26 points & 8 rebounds and Farmar finished with 16 points & 11 assists.
"We had a day off and I ate my Wheaties and all that," Bynum said after the game. "I definitely felt more refreshed."
The Wizards would only play six players of their team, none receiving less than 30 minutes on the floor.
The Lakers opened the game up with an early lead; however the Wizards rallied back found themselves ahead by two points at halftime. Yet the Lakers would take control for good after a 39-point third quarter, 19 of them split between Bynum and Green.
Bynum would not miss a shot the entire game, going 10/10 from the field, while Green shot 12/14.
The Lakers will wrap things up for the summer when they play the Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Pyramid in Long Beach.THE BREAKDOWNAndrew Bynum
What a world of difference two days rest can make. Bynum had statistically his best game of the entire SPL.
25 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots would by Bynum's final line.
Andrew was matched up against a much smaller frontcourt than he'd previously seen. The tallest of the Wizards was Andray Blatche, who really isn't even a true center. The other two players that defended Bynum capped off at 6'9".
Bynum immediately recognized this mismatch and knew how to take advantage of it. He often gave his defenders a couple of quick bumps (using that giant frame of his) and this created some space for him. As a result, he was more at ease and often made the right choices in terms of footwork, angling his body to gain solid shot opportunities.
I asked coach Kurt Rambis how Bynum did, even while playing against shorter competition.
"He did a good job of trying to establish deep post position, which was one of the things that we're trying to work with him on. To try and understand his position in relationship to his defender and what he can do in relationship to the ball. He did a better job of that, but there wasn't a whole lot of resistance in terms of the guys that he played against.
"They didn't do a good job of keeping him out of the paint or offering much size or strength to control him. But he did a good job. I was happy with the way he played today."
Nevertheless, going 10 for 10 from the floor is an impressive stat for Andrew. More than anything, Bynum showed the ability to be patient while in the paint. He didn't rush things down low and took his time to get comfortable. In turn, he got great looks at the basket the entire game.
Bynum's mentor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has continued to show up to observe Bynum's progress at these games. I asked Andrew how much, if at all, he communicates with Kareem when on the floor.
"He talks to me every time I come out the game, pretty much," Bynum said. "He sits right behind me and he's just whispering things into my ear [and] telling me what I need to do."
"He swears he wants to see a left-handed shot and I'm trying to get him one."
And Cap's right. Not only should Bynum learn to use both hands at this point, he needs to increase the utilization of one-handed shots period.
There was a sequence where Bynum was softly fouled under the basket and didn't have the angle to finish for an and-one opportunity because he used both hands. If Bynum simply palmed the ball with his right hand and dunked it through the right side of the rim instead, he would have gained an opportunity for a three-point play.
Bynum continued to show an improved stroke from the free throw line, knocking down 5 of 7 attempts.
What's remained consistent, for the most part, is Bynum's shot-blocking presence on defense. Scooter (yes that's his nickname) McFadgen of the Wizards was on fire for much of the game. Bynum killed just a bit of that momentum when he came from the weakside and rejected McFadgen's layup into the stands. Great to see a young player like Bynum play with that type of intensity, especially after it (along with his stamina) had been questioned before.
Although Bynum went up against lesser competition against the Wizards, it was great to see him know how to take advantage of these mismatches and end up with a remarkably perfect shooting performance.Jordan Farmar
Farmar seems to have shaken the effects of a groin tweak that might have hindered him for a couple games.
Farmar finished the game with 16 points and 11 assists, the highest he's dished out at the SPL.
While Jordan did a solid job of running the Triangle in the half-court set, he seemed arguably even more comfortable leading the pack in transition. He's got great court awareness and possesses the timing necessary to be an effective point guard on the fast break.
I asked Rambis if the coaching staff would have a bit more flexibility in terms of allowing Farmar to get out and run when the opportunity presents himself.
"Well we always like to be able to get and run off of long rebounds, easy scoring opportunites, turnovers -- those kinds of things," Rambis said. "[When] we can get in fast-break situations to get high percentage shots, of course we would love to see that kind of thing. But we've got to be able to make good decisions when in the open floor. I think that's one of the things that he's really trying to focus on. "
"It's not about the tempo and how fast you play, it's about making the accurate decision and making that at the right time. He's got to really be able to control himself so he doesn't pick up the pace of the game too much and play at a pace that we're not comfortable with because he's made bad decisions. So I see him controlling himself and I think eventually he's going to be excellent in the open court."
During warmups, I noticed Farmar missed his last jump shot and was a bit frustrated about it. In the first quarter, he seemed focused on hitting his jumper, opening up his game with a trey and a baseline shot from about 15 feet out. Farmar has always shot with confidence, but if anything he's just got to practice hitting them in game situations.
Yet again, Farmar had little trouble finishing around the hoop. In the second quarter he went up and under for a reverse layup in transition and showed that nice little floater of his in the third. The fact that he's a decent scoring threat when in the lane opens up opportunities for his teammates. Farmar made a determined effort to feed Bynum after penetrating.Devin Green
Offensively, Devin Green definitely had his best game of the SPL.
Green's 26 points, 8 rebounds & 4 assists all came in a span of just 26 minutes on playing time. He was quite efficent as well, converting 12 of his 14 field goals.
As evidenced by his field goal percentage, Green's forte is playing within the offense and reacting to what the defense does on the floor. He hardly will force any shot attempts, knows his spots and as of this year, apparently can knock down the open jumper.
I asked coach Rambis if the coaching staff values Devin's ability to play within the offense.
"We always want young guys, particularly at this young age, to be able to just play off of what the defense does and let the offense help them execute," Rambis said. "So I think there were some sequences where he did a really good job and there were some sequences where he didn't do a good job. So that's part of being young and making mistakes, but he has the talent. He has the talent. He just needs some experience and some poise out there to be able to make much more right decisions than wrong decisions."
I asked Devin himself to evaluate his own performance.
"I think I played pretty solid, man," Green said. "Like I always tell you all, I just try to come out and [produce] our offense out of the system. So I think we did pretty well today. It was an up and down game. That's not the kind of game that we necessarily want. But I think we played pretty well and adjusted to today to their team concept."
Green, along with his teammates, looked energetic after two days rest. I asked Devin how much the time off helped him produce.
"Man, I felt like I'm 19!" Devin said, laughing. "It was great having two days off because we played a lot of games back to back, so I felt really good after those days off."
I also talked with Devin about his newfound ability to embrace contact when attacking the basket and finishing in transition with Farmar leading the break.
"I think playing on the playground or whatever neighborhood you're from from, you kind of get used to contact. Playing in the NBA with bigger guys, you just have to adjust to the contact that they bring to you and just try to make the best shot that you can create out of it."
"Jordan is a great, unselfish player. Like I told you the other day, I love playing with people like that because that's how I play. So it's great to know that when you're on the break that you're going to get it back from running hard. I love playing with him. He's a great player."
I finally asked Green what his plans were from now until training camp.
"Get back in the gym and continue to work on the things that I've seen that I need to work on as far as playing in the Summer League. Just continue to improve and get ready for the real thing coming up in October."
Overall, Devin continues to show an ability to finish at the rack, both in transition and in a half-court offense. He drew contact a couple of times during the game, but still got the ball into the basket.
And the jumper still looks good. In fact, Green was confident enough to take (and make) a fadeaway jumper with Andray Blatche right in his face.
The hard work over the offseason seems to have paid off.Doron Perkins
Although you wouldn't be able to tell by the box score, Perkins made a strong effort to play some tough defense on the Wizards' Scooter McFadgon (who was absolutely on fire for much of the game) and got under his skin a bit.
Perkins made it his primary objective to put pressure McFadgon, and drew some frustration from Scooter when he got hit with a hard foul.
Although the attempt didn't work, simply because Scooter hit every shot with even a crack of daylight, it was a positive sign to see out there.
Doron continued his solid outside shooting, hitting two treys during a Laker run in the opening quarter. He finished with 13 points on 5 of 8 from the floor.
Perkins' defense and ability to play within the system will give him a good shot at receiving an invitation to training camp.
The remainder of the team either didn’t provide a significant contribution or did not receive enough playing time for proper evaluation.Danilo "J.R." Pinnock
Pinnock put up 12 points on 5 of 10 from the floor.
He has consistently moved well on offense without the ball and dives to the basket strong. In addition, the outside jumper continues to fall for him.
Pinnock is a likely candidate for a camp invite at this point.
Keep tuned in for more interviews and analysis with BDG’s SPL Exclusive reports and ClubLakers.com’s complete coverage of the Summer Pro League over the next couple of weeks.