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Lakers vs. Hornets Summer League Preview: Max Christie’s coming out party

As the Las Vegas Summer League plugs along, Max Christie is continuing his coming out party for the Lakers with Sunday offering a game against the Hornets.

2023 NBA Summer League - Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The natural progression of a young NBA player often sees them struggling in their rookie season at Summer League before looking significantly better a year later in their second trip to Las Vegas in July. Through one game this season in Vegas and multiple games at the California Class, Max Christie has followed that formula nearly perfectly.

After an underwhelming rookie Summer League where flashes of potential were apparent but sporadic, nothing has been sporadic about what Christie has done this time around. Punctuated by his huge dunk in Friday’s win over the Warriors, Christie has had the look of a player too good for the Summer League which is exactly what you want to see from second-year players.

We likely won’t be getting a moment akin to Magic Johnson signaling for Brandon Ingram to be shut down for the remainder of Summer League, but Christie continues to impress in his run this year with Sunday offering another opportunity.

On the flip side has been Jalen Hood-Schifino, who is experiencing some of those same first-year struggles Christie did a year ago. While the moments have been perhaps a bit more plentiful than Christie last season, it’s still been an up-and-down summer so far.

Against Golden State, Hood-Schifino had a stat-stuffing performance of nine points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists but struggled shooting the ball, going 3-11 from the field while missing his one long-range effort. Does he have one strong performance in him in Vegas or will it be a handful of spurts and flashes?

Notes and Updates:

  • Scotty Pippen Jr. once again did not suit up in Friday’s game. That comes after not playing at the California Classic and is a really rough break for someone who was a G League standout last year.
  • The Hornets have had a pretty woeful in Summer League, losing all three games including a rock fight against the Spurs in Victor Wembanyama’s debut on Friday.
  • No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller hasn’t had the greatest Summer League run himself. He’s averaging 13.3 points per game but also has 18 fouls in three games.

The Lakers and Hornets tip off at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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