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Hot Takes on Lakers' Shareef O'Neal, Scotty Pippen Jr. vs. Hornets

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 11, 2022

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their second straight game to open the NBA Las Vegas Summer League, falling 89-86 in overtime to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

Once again, many eyes were on the exploits of Shareef O'Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr.

O'Neal looked a bit like his dad when he finished off a fast break that was started by a Pippen steal. He finished with four points, seven rebounds and one steal in 15:05.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

SCOTTY PIPPEN JR.'S STEAL ➡️ SHAREEF O'NEAL 🔨 <a href="https://t.co/FFOyTRWrFC">pic.twitter.com/FFOyTRWrFC</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Pippen to O'Neal ✨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakersSummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakersSummer</a> <a href="https://t.co/T6AfMZFN6X">pic.twitter.com/T6AfMZFN6X</a>

🟣🏀 Chris @HoopSpaces

Shareef O’Neal said let me chase my dream.<br><br>And some people choose to hate on him for it.<br><br>Crazy.

O'Neal had the best individual highlight, but Pippen was the stronger performer. The two-time first-team All-SEC guard flashed his two-way ability, posting 10 points, seven assists and three steals.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Scotty Pippen Jr. throwing dimes 👀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBA</a>)<a href="https://t.co/PXhH8Jfgkb">pic.twitter.com/PXhH8Jfgkb</a>

NBA @NBA

Dance on 'em, Scotty! <a href="https://t.co/cpNzslfoGP">pic.twitter.com/cpNzslfoGP</a>

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers

It always remains to be seen whether guys Pippen's size can carve out an NBA career, but he's really acquitting himself nicely. AK <a href="https://t.co/FuTaXokKcr">https://t.co/FuTaXokKcr</a>

Joke 🃏 @Jokeeee_

Pippen JR giving me Tyus Jones vibes... Kid is smooth

73-9 and THEY LIED @CuffsTheLegend

Pippen Jr plays at his own pace. Gets paint touches with ease

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has done well to fill out the roster with limited resources, but a big piece remains on the board.

Much like how Austin Reaves emerged as a regular contributor in his rookie season, Pippen still might have the opportunity to carve out a place in Los Angeles' backcourt. He's certainly making a great impression in Las Vegas.

It will be a battle for L.A. in the Lakers' next summer league contest. They play the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET at Thomas & Mack Center.

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