Rookies Bronny James & Dalton Knecht’s Lakers Debut: 3 Takeaways

Last week, Bronny James and Dalton Knecht played their first game in the Summer League wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold jerseys.

Despite losing 108-94 to the Kings, these rookies showed glimpses of their potential. Bronny scored four points on 2-for-9 shooting but had a promising drive in the second quarter. He also contributed two assists, two rebounds, and one steal in his 21 minutes on the court.

Expert Opinions

Most experts were not overly impressed with their debut performances but noted some positives. “Quiet, and that’s not a bad thing,” one expert said. Both players struggled with their shooting—Knecht scored 12 points on 3-for-12 shooting—which is something to watch as the summer league progresses.

“It wasn’t surprising that James didn’t have a stellar debut,” ESPN’s Kendra Andrews mentioned. She emphasized that small improvements over time are what matter most.

Knecht’s Performance

Dalton Knecht, who was highly anticipated after being picked first by the team, made only 3 of his 13 shots in his 22 minutes but still managed to score 12 points in another game. Despite his struggles with precision, he showed moves that excited Lakers fans, especially off dribble-hand-offs and curls.

Lakers summer league coach Dane Johnson commented on Knecht’s performance: “It’s a long summer league… He’s a great player… There are some flashes where you see that he’s got it.”

Knecht became an All-American for his incredible shot-making skills in college, averaging 21.7 points per game at a rate of 42.3% from three-point range. “I haven’t played since March,” Dalton explained about finding his rhythm again with new teammates. “Shooters shoot,” he added—a lesson from his dad.

Fans believe both players will improve as they get more comfortable on the court.

Bronny’s Knee Injury

Bronny James did not play against the Warriors due to swelling in his left knee. The Lakers decided to rest him as a precaution during Sunday’s California Classic game in San Francisco which ended with a loss for them at 92-68.

“The hope is [and] the plan is for him to play the next game here,” said Coach Johnson after Sunday’s match.

James is expected to return for Wednesday’s final classic match against Miami Heat if cleared by medical staff. “Our trainers deal with all of that,” Coach Johnson clarified while expressing hope for more opportunities to see Bronny play this summer as he has much to prove.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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