Lakers News: Tarik Black And Thomas Robinson Pairing Successful Because ‘People Haven’t Seen It Yet’
Lakers News: Tarik Black And Thomas Robinson Pairing Successful Because ‘people Haven’t Seen It Yet’

After an encouraging start to the 2016-2017 NBA season where they won 10 of their first 20 games, the Los Angeles Lakers have fallen into a tailspin, winning just two of their next 17 games. While there are several factors at play here, the injury bug has been a major nuisance, robbing the young team of the chance to find any real consistency in their rotation.

In search of a fresh combination, head coach Luke Walton decided to try playing energy bigs Tarik Black and Thomas Robinson alongside each other in the front court against the Toronto Raptors, and the results were impressive.

— Get 15% off everything in the Lakers Nation Store right now by using the promo code ‘Lakers’ —

The pair played limited minutes (17 for Robinson, 14 for Black) but still hauled in a whopping 18 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end. Black told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that the move was successful partly because of the element of surprise:

“People haven’t seen it yet,” Black said. “They haven’t scouted it yet. That’s why last night it was so successful.”

As we near the halfway point of the season, scouting has indeed been a factor in the Lakers’ slide. Opponents are recognizing plays that the Lakers are trying to run and doing what they can to take them out of it, but the young team isn’t yet able to adapt on the fly and find counter-measures.

The Black-Robinson pairing is particularly surprising because they are so similar, with both men excelling at rebounding and providing energy but lacking a consistent jump shot or the ability to create for others. Black, who is just returning from an ankle injury, has spent most of the season playing alongside Larry Nance Jr., but a bone bruise to Nance (again, injury bug) will keep them apart for a bit longer.

Thomas can replicate Nance’s energy somewhat but doesn’t have the same level of agility or defensive instincts as Nance, so it will be interesting to see if opponents will ultimately be able to find ways to exploit the new duo of Black and Robinson. Until then, the pair of Kansas products are certainly fun to watch with their Bash Brothers-style physicality and tireless work ethic.

You May Also Like

Shaquille O’Neal Compares Playing With Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, And LeBron James

Shaquille O’Neal had the privilege of playing with a number of all-time greats during his own Hall of Fame 20-year NBA…

Lakers News: Media Still Has Giannis Antetokounmpo Ahead Of LeBron James For 2019-20 NBA MVP

Before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended, one of the biggest developing stories was that of the Most Valuable Player…

Paul Pierce Details Growing Up Lakers Fan, But Being Selected By Celtics In 1998 NBA Draft

For most Los Angeles Lakers fans, Paul Pierce’s name brings a certain disdain and dislike as he was a villain who had no…

Lakers News: Rudy Gay Amazed By LeBron James’ Longevity In 17th NBA Season

Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there were questions as to how LeBron James would perform in his 17th season with…