Wood’s debut ends in disappointment.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 108-125 defeat against the Golden State Warriors in the 2023-2024 NBA preseason at the 텍사스홀덤 Chase Center in San Francisco, California, on Monday (Aug. 8).
The Lakers were without their ace LeBron James, and the game was expected to be a tough one, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. The Lakers struggled to control Golden State’s offense throughout the game and lost the firepower battle. The Lakers got solid performances from Anthony Davis with 15 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes and D’Angelo Russell with 15 points and five assists in 16 minutes, but it wasn’t enough.
New offseason additions Christian Wood, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurin Prince, and Jackson Hayes also made their debuts. Of the newcomers, Hayes stood out the most. Hayes was active on the court and raised the Lakers’ energy level. He set screens diligently in offensive situations and ran the pick-and-roll skillfully.
Conversely, Wood has been the biggest disappointment. Wood joined the Lakers in a last-minute trade this summer for the veteran’s minimum. No team was interested in Wood, who had a disappointing season with the Dallas Mavericks in 2022-2023. Eventually, Wood cried and ate mustard, signing with the Lakers in hopes of resurrecting his career.
Wood’s performance in that game showed why no NBA team wanted him. Wood’s biggest problem is his personality. He’s not a great defender, he’s a player who needs to make plays on offense. The problem is that Wood’s offense is strictly individualistic. He tries to score through one-on-one attacks rather than coordinating with his teammates or getting help, which means that when he scores, there’s no synergy for the team.
Against Golden State, this was a problem. In 20 minutes of action, Wood scored just five points and grabbed four rebounds, and made just two of eight free throws. Free throws can fail. The problem was the offense. Wood remained a strictly individual player, constantly attempting random offense regardless of the team’s offensive flow. The weaknesses on defense remained. If this continues, Wood’s playing time will inevitably decrease.
It was only the first game, but Wood was still a disappointment. Of course, you have to take into account that James was out and it was his first preseason game with his teammates. If the Lakers are going to be successful this season, Wood’s performance will be essential. But can Wood make a difference for the Lakers?