Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:
No Lakers news was going to push Derek Fisher’s contract agreement to stay with the team, announced on Monday afternoon, off the franchise marquee.
But over in Las Vegas, the organization’s two second round draft picks - Derrick Caracter (No. 58) and Devin Ebanks (No. 43) - continued to outplay their draft positions as they respectively took steps towards making the senior squad in training camp.
“That’s the goal,” said Caracter after posting his third consecutive double-double in a loss to the Knicks. “But right now I’m just trying to learn the offense and get better.”
Caracter started slowly in the Triangle O taught by summer league head coach Chuck Person and assistant Rasheed Hazzard, making only 3-of-9 first half shots while struggling with the length of New York’s Jerome Jordan and Eric Boateng. But in the second half, Caracter used counter moves and made all four of his attempts to finish with 16 points, alongside 10 boards (six offensive).
When the Lakers drafted Caracter out of UTEP, GM Mitch Kupchak was pleased that he remained on the board so late, and said he liked Caracter’s ability to both rebound and score the ball. We’ve seen why with averages of 17.7 points and 10.7 rebounds through three games.
Kupchak also cited Caracter’s need to continue getting in better shape, as he had during his final year of college. Through three games, conditioning hasn’t appeared a problem at all for Caracter, who was energetic once again, as witnessed by the eight personal fouls he committed and those six offensive boards.
Energy was also a strength for Ebanks, who played all but 47 seconds of the game, but struggled with his shot in making only 2-of-13 attempts for seven points.
The West Virginia product came into the game amongst the summer league scoring leaders after averaging 22.5 points in L.A.’s first two games, but he wasn’t particularly concerned about his field goal struggles after the game.
“I’m just trying to work hard and do what the coaches tell me to do,” he said. “If my shot’s not fouling, I have to contribute in other ways.”
Ebanks was solid defensively, grabbed five rebounds and got up in down in transition, helping the Lakers take a momentary lead late in the third quarter before New York used a 9-0 run to seal the game.
He’ll have his chance to bounce back offensively in Tuesday’s game against Sacramento, when Caracter goes for his fourth straight double-double against Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins.
Additional Notes and Numbers:
- Courtney Sims added 11 points and five rebounds for L.A., joining Caracter (16 points) and D.J. Strawberry (12) in double figures.
- Gerald Green scored five quick points in the third quarter to cut into what was once a 17-point Knicks lead, but the former dunk champ played only 10 minutes and turned the ball over three times. Turnovers were a problem for the whole team, who totaled 22 giveaways, the main culprit being Caracter (eight).
- L.A. shot a putrid 33 percent from the field, to New York’s 45 percent, but made 17-of-22 free throws (77.3 percent).