With training camp for the 2023-24 season just days away, the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to hit the court for what could be an exciting and very successful season for them. They appear to have a stacked roster, and therefore an 18th NBA championship is a realistic goal for them once it’s all said and done next summer.
To accomplish that goal, a number of players will need to play up to their potential. Therefore, we have identified three goals for each Lakers player that, if attained, will help the team win it all.
Guard D’Moi Hodge was signed by L.A. as an undrafted free agent in early July. After burning it up during NBA Summer League in July, Hodge is starting to look like someone who may be able to contribute this season.
Here are three goals for the 6-foot-4 man to focus on.
Keep up the outstanding 3-point shooting
Hodge caught people’s attention during July’s NBA Summer League because he was a flamethrower from downtown. He seemed to get better as the schedule went on, and in the final game of Summer League for the Lakers, he went 7-of-11 from downtown while scoring 23 points.
Overall, he shot 40.4% from that distance in five Summer League games.
The big-league Lakers still need more 3-point bombers to open things up for LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others. If Hodge’s apparent superpower transfers to the NBA, they could end up having no choice but to find a bit of playing time for him.
Become a thief
Hodge also showed some potential on the defensive end during Summer League play. He averaged 1.8 steals in five games there, and he notched five steals in the team’s final game in Las Vegas.
The NBA has really pivoted away from one-dimensional players in recent years. For one to crack a team’s rotation, especially as a rookie, he must get things done on both ends of the floor, and if Hodge develops as a defender, it would greatly help his chances of sticking around in the big leagues.
Make the most of his opportunities
Unless the Lakers are plagued with injuries, Hodge will likely only get scant playing time, especially during garbage time. Therefore, he should be expected to spend significant time down in the G League.
At both levels, Hodge should work hard and work smart and feel blessed to have the opportunity to make it in the NBA. He also has the opportunity to learn from James and Davis, not just in terms of how to play the game at a high level, but also in terms of how to keep his body right, how to work on his game and how to stay prepared.