On Saturday night against the Houston Rockets, LeBron James and Anthony Davis got their wish as the Los Angeles Lakers boasted nearly their full healthy roster for the first time this season. Forward Jarred Vanderbilt made his regular season debut and played 14 minutes in the Lakers’ victory.
Of course, the Lakers still aren’t completely healthy as point guard Gabe Vincent remains out as well as Rui Hachimura, though he should be back very soon. But getting back Vanderbilt, one of the NBA’s premier perimeter defenders, was huge for the Lakers and LeBron was happy to see him on the court.
“We just want to get healthy,” LeBron said after the win. “The more and more we can get healthy, the more and more we can see what we’re capable of. Saw a lot of length out there for us today. That’s great and great to get Vando back. He means so much to our ballclub, so just happy to have him back.”
Things really took shape in the second quarter as the Lakers outscored the Rockets by 21 to take a commanding lead that they never relinquished. LeBron felt it was one of the best quarters they have had all season and credited it to the Lakers locking in on defense and sharing the ball on offense.
“Yeah, it was a good short stint,” the Lakers star added. “That’s probably one of the best quarters that we had this year. Especially in the first half, we just haven’t been a first-half team. But that was one of the best quarters we had, and it came with defending and getting out sharing the ball, moving the ball, and AR, especially in the second quarter.”
LeBron also made note at the Lakers’ energy in the contest coming off a long road trip, something that is often very hard to do.
“I was more surprised at the energy level that we had after coming off that road trip,” James said. “I mean, anytime you come off a road trip, I think it was last Friday, so we’re almost at about eight days and that first home game, after a week or so road trip is always difficult. But we found the energy that was the most surprising thing.”
All season long, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Darvin Ham and anyone else who has been asked has said that the Lakers can’t completely judge themselves as they haven’t been healthy. Injuries have destroyed the team, but it looks as if things are finally turning a corner and everyone will get a very good look at just how good this team can be.
Lakers expected to ‘be patient’ leading up to trade deadline
Those injuries have played a role in the Lakers’ up-and-down start to the season, which has led to trade rumors popping up. But despite all of the outside noise, the Lakers aren’t expected to make any big moves soon.
Recent reports noted that the Lakers are expected to be patient, at least until the team is completely healthy and they get a better idea of what they might need. That time seems to be nearing so the rumors will either quiet down or ramp up even more in the not-so-distant future.
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