When Jarred Vanderbilt came to the Lakers in their trade deadline deal last season, he was instantly a revelation: a lengthy, agile defender on and off the ball and an impact rebounder who could also handle the ball and understood how to move off of it. And maybe most importantly, he was a wing for a team badly needing that skillset.
He was integral in the Lakers making their playoff push. For example, he was incredible in the second half of the Lakers' comeback vs. the Mavericks in the game where LeBron James injured his foot.
He was also key in multiple playoff series as well, although his offensive limitations became increasingly pronounced as the playoffs wore on, which tends to happen as better teams expose weaknesses at a higher rate.
Even with that, there were high hopes for Vanderbilt heading into the season. But after missing most of the preseason and a large chunk of the beginning of the regular season due to heel bursitis, he’s had a difficult time getting back to the level of last season.
Until the last few games.
Accordingly, it’s no surprise — along with some rotational adjustments from head coach Darvin Ham — that the team is 4-2 in their last six games, including wins over the Thunder, Clippers and, most recently, the Mavericks.
Watching Vando, there’s one thing that sticks out in his resurgence. I explained in the following video:
The hope is that Vando will only continue to progress as he continues to get more games under his belt and consistently get back to that player impact from last season. The Lakers roster and fit is, in my opinion, even better than last season overall.
He could potentially take that impact to another level, especially as he gets his confidence back on the offensive end which we’ve seen an uptick in recently. Vando has such a unique skillset and now it’s time to show it all off again.
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.