The LA Lakers continue their NBA Summer League season with a match against 2021 NBA Finalists - the Phoenix Suns. After a humbling defeat at the hands of Chris Paul and Co. in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the Purple and Gold should be eager to balance the account.
The LA Lakers signed Austin Reaves and Joel Ayayi to two-way contracts ahead of the summer league after they purposely sat out the draft to be able to play for the franchise. The duo had their debut games against the Miami Heat along with fellow teammate Mac McClung. After a well-fought encounter, the young LA Lakers squad lost by a two-point deficit.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns roster deviates from what is considered normal in the league. Their NBA Summer League squad does not include anyone from the 2021 draft class. The team from Phoenix has built a 15-man squad comprising of players from ten different countries. Their roster also includes two players, Ty-Shon Alexander and Jalen Smith, who have played for the Phoenix Suns in the 2020-21 season.
Fixture - LA Lakers vs Phoenix Suns | NBA Summer League 2021.
Date & Time - Sunday, August 8th, 2021, 10:30 PM ET (Monday, 8:00 AM IST).
Venue - Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers will battle it out against the Suns in Las Vegas with an exciting young team full of potential. The team from Staples Center made headlines after acquiring superstar PG Russell Westbrook. While everyone's attention was diverted to this league-changing transaction, the Lakers management brought in a lot of young talent.
Their 14-man roster, which will play against the Phoenix Suns, includes the likes of Chaundee Brown, Devontae Cacok and Tres Tinkle along with the aforementioned Reaves, McClung and Ayayi.
Key Player - Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves has the potential to become a reliable scorer for the LA Lakers. He is a decent outside shooter and has been known to make clutch shots. During his last year with the University of Oklahoma, Reaves averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Reaves could be a tipping point in the matchup between the LA Lakers and Phoenix Suns. He is great at driving to the basket, can make key mid-range jumpers, and quick floaters for easy buckets. He is also capable of challenging bigger players under the rim with his acrobatic finishes and better-than-average hang time.
Also Check out: La Lakers Complete NBA Summer League Schedule
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G - Joel Ayayi | C - Devontae Cacok | F - Vic Law | G- Austin Reaves | G - Mac McClung
Phoenix Suns Preview
The 2020-21 NBA finalists are looking forward to another stellar season. But before that, the team's job is to prep the younglings for a rigorous journey ahead. This year's summer league will see the Phoenix Suns showcase players from Germany, Russia, France, Australia and six other countries.
Their squad includes international players like Vitto Brown, Justin Simon, and Jaleen Smith.
Jaleen Smith, not to be confused with Suns sophomore Jalen Smith, played in the Basketball Bundesliga before being picked by Phoenix. He averaged 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in the German league.
Key Player - Jalen Smith
Jalen Smith is the Phoenix Suns' standout player in the summer league. At almost 6' 10", he can operate as a big man on the court and is capable of using his size and reach on both ends. While on offense, Jalen can score quick tipoff buckets, snatch offensive rebounds, and attack the paint.
On the defensive end, his ability to limit the opponent's offensive rebounding and his shot-blocking make him a definite threat. He's a key player to look out for in the LA Lakers vs Phoenix Suns pre-season game.
Lakers vs Suns Prediction
The Phoenix Suns' squad is full of experienced professional players and a couple of promising sophomores. Their experience is obviously a key element in deciding the game. However, the LA Lakers squad is also filled with some fine new faces that hold the potential to win if they find their groove.
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Where to watch the Lakers vs Suns game
The match between the LA Lakers and Phoenix Suns will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and locally on TSN3.