Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt grabs one of his four rebounds during his season debut against the Rockets on Saturday night. (Adam Pantozzi / NBAE via Getty Images)
It had been almost two months since Jarred Vanderbilt played in a basketball game, his body having betrayed him during the preseason, bursitis in his left heel keeping him sidelined and unable to help the Lakers.
Vanderbilt, one of the Lakers’ most versatile and active defenders, finally got on the court Saturday night, his first time playing since he was injured Oct. 7 during a preseason game in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors.
He played 13 minutes and 41 seconds during the Lakers’ 107-97 win over the Houston Rockets at Crypto.com Arena.
“It felt good to be back out there with my teammates,” Vanderbilt said. “Any time you can get back on the court, it’s always a good feeling. It was good.”
Vanderbilt didn’t score, missing his two shots. But he had four rebounds, one assist and was active on defense.
Of course, Vanderbilt is known for his defense, and that was the primary reason the Lakers signed him to a four-year, $48-million contract extension after acquiring the veteran forward near the trade deadline.
Read more: Lakers defeat Houston following return of injured trio
He was not trying to rush back from the injury. He wanted to make sure his body was ready to play.
“Basically just trying to take care of the injury and then building it back up efficiently and smart,” Vanderbilt said. “I didn’t want to get back out there too fast. So that was part of the ramp-up, kind of slowly going through progressions: two versus two, three versus three and then some five-on-five. That’s pretty much it.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham described Cam Reddish as a “laid-back dude.”
Yet there were moments against the Rockets when Reddish was not that easy-going player.
He flexed and yelled when he was fouled while scoring.
Then he was hit with a technical foul after exchanging words with Houston’s Tari Eason.
As Reddish stood behind the three-point line waiting for the free throw to be shot, Eason tried to walk toward him. Reddish didn’t budge or…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/lakers-win-jarred-vanderbilts-season-181101580.html
Author : LA Times
Publish date : 2023-12-03 18:11:01
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