Jarred Vanderbilt: Lakers Are Starting To Turn Corner At Right Time
Jarred Vanderbilt, Lakers, Warriors
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

When Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt missed the first few weeks of the season due to injury, his absence was felt as his defense, especially his energy and hustle, were needed.

After returning to the lineup, Vanderbilt did not look fully healthy or in game shape. It became clear the heel injury persisted, but Vanderbilt simply needed to get more games under his belt to get back to 100%.

As of late, Vanderbilt is stacking strong performances and arguably had his best game of the year on Saturday in a double overtime win against the Golden State Warriors. With 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and a plus-30 on the night, Vanderbilt spoke about his health and impact on the game in an interview with Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet:

“Yeah, it felt good tonight. Obviously a little longer stretch than I expected but taking advantage of these minutes every time I’m on the court and just continue to make an impact for my team.”

Fellow teammate LeBron James had himself a night as well with 36 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists. Vanderbilt spoke to James’ greatness in year 21 and the belief he has in this Lakers team going forward:

“It’s amazing being able to play with somebody of that caliber and being able to learn from him each and every day. Just being a part of something special. I think we have a special group here. We’re starting to turn that corner at the right time I feel like. He’s been leading the way, him and AD, and for us, just keep following their lead and keep chipping away along the season.”

This season presented different challenges and hurdles for L.A., which resulted in a disappointing record halfway through the season. However, for a team embarking on a six-game road trip, a win like this goes a long way.

The Warriors are no strangers to the Lakers after their postseason matchup last year and despite their 19-24 record, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are not easy to guard.

For an L.A. team that is looking to turn things around and get a winning streak going, this game could spark that. To be able to pull out a gutsy, double overtime win on the road, it should serve as a confidence boost for Vanderbilt and the Lakers and hopefully foreshadows a successful road trip.

Jarred Vanderbilt discusses impact on offensive glass

Another aspect of Vanderbilt’s game that the Lakers missed was his rebounding and activity on the glass. He discussed his impact on the offensive glass and trying to get extra possessions for the team.

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