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Film study: Jarred Vanderbilt’s instant defensive impact for the Lakers

Jarred Vanderbilt has been back for only two games for the Lakers but his impact is already being felt. Let's take a closer look.

In-Season Tournament - Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers’ wing Jarred Vanderbilt returned vs the Houston Rockets on Dec. 2 after dealing with heel bursitis which limited him during training camp and led to a prolonged, methodical return to play.

To say his services and strengths were missed is perhaps the understatement of the year, particularly since the team was missing multiple wing players due to injuries as well — Cam Reddish with an adductor strain and Rui Hachimura with a nasal fracture that required surgery.

Vanderbilt’s return from injury over the last two games — including the thrilling quarterfinals In-Season Tournament game vs. the Phoenix Suns — has illustrated why he was so dearly missed. He has showcased multiple skills and attributes that the Lakers have sorely missed over the first 20+ games of the season.

Let's take a closer look at the film:

It’s been a brilliant start to Vanderbilt’s season and perhaps even scarier is that he’s done it while still shaking off rust and building up his fitness. For example, it’s likely that he wasn’t used down the stretch vs the Suns due to a minutes restriction and allowing him to build up gradually.

Once he’s in full flow again? It might be scary hours for the league.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training.

Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.

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