Lakers News: How LA Role Player Made An Impact Vs Thunder

Lakers News: How LA Role Player Made An Impact Vs Thunder

The second-year Laker forward continues to shine on the defensive end.

Your Los Angeles Lakers are back in the win column after yesterday’s triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Purple and Gold snapped their two-game skid to move only one game behind .500 (20-21) as they hit the halfway mark of the 2023-2024 regular season.

Every game from here on out is vital for the Lakers to not only make the postseason but to avoid the dreadful play-in game. If the Lakers play like how they did against the Thunder, they won't need to worry about a single elimination game. 

LA came up huge against the West’s No. 2-seeded Thunder. Although 52 of LA’s points came at the hands of LA’s superstar duo, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the others stepped up in a big way, specifically their young defensive-minded forward Jarred Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt played one of his best games of the season. For those familiar with his game, you know he won't light up the stat sheet. His impact on games goes beyond that, and that happened to be the case against the Thunder. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said he loved Vando's activity in his 18 minutes of action. 

The 24-year-old was a +5 in 18 minutes while collecting three steals and adding five points, four rebounds, and two assists while going a perfect 2-for-2. 

Vando's game is on the defensive side. He will never light up the stat sheet or shoot over five field goal attempts in game. However, when he's affecting the game on the defensive side, that's his best offense. When he's getting in passing lanes, causing turnovers, and making it tough on opposing offenses, that's when the Lakers are at their best. Just take a look at last year's playoff run. 

He made life hell for guys like Ja Morant and Stephen Curry. That type of play made it easier for the other defenders and got the LA offense running and gunning, something LeBron is the best at. 

Vando not only earned more minutes but also earned a spot in the starting lineup alongside James, Davis, D'Angelo Russell, and Austin Reaves. I won't hold my breath on that one, though.  


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