The Los Angeles Lakers are very close to being at full strength for the first time this season. Superstar LeBron James is still recovering from a strained adductor, but the team has finally welcomed back point guard Dennis Schroder and big man Thomas Bryant from thumb injuries.
Bryant has already looked like a solid contributor and was excellent in the Lakers’ victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Bryant made all five of his shots on his way to 15 points and nune rebounds and afterward said he felt great after two games back.
“I feel great,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ third straight win. “Just getting my chemistry back with my teammates and just trying to gel as fast as I can with these guys.”
Building that chemistry is crucial and Bryant has a chance to carve out a nice role for himself on this Lakers team. Anthony Davis has been the lone big man for much of the season and Bryant can provide some size to help ease the burden against some of the league’s bigger centers.
But just two games in, Bryant doesn’t yet have that defined role with the Lakers just yet.
“I think we’re still evolving,” Bryant added. “I think we all play a significant role in certain ways each game. But I think we’re still growing as a team too. Like you said, it’s my second game back, it’s [Dennis Schroder’s] second game back too. Guys are just really getting healthy out here so I think we’re on a good path, that’s what I’d say.”
And while that role is getting figured out, Bryant is just focused on helping out his team in any way possible. “I just try to stay as consistent as I can out there on the offensive end,” the Lakers’ big man said. “Just helping my teammates out there, just trying to help these guys gain a little advantage out there whether it’s Russ getting assists, AD not getting double-teamed too much or just filling those holes that I can out there.”
Time will tell, but the early returns on Bryant are good and if he can continue to play at this level, he will surely find himself with a regular role on this Lakers team.
Thomas Bryant thankful for Dennis Schroder’s support during thumb rehab
Bryant missed the first month of the regular season thanks to thumb surgery, but he was not alone as Dennis Schroder suffered the same injury in the same week. As such, both Lakers were going through the same rehab process together and Bryant was thankful for the support Schroder provided.
“It was good to have someone you could talk to,” Bryant says. “Feed off the same energy and go through the same injury. Throughout the rehab it was the same mishaps, same up and down. Just basic things that you go through in surgery and everything.
“It was good to have someone who knows what you are going through.”
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