One of the biggest needs for the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline was shooting, and they acquired one of the more explosive ones in Malik Beasley. LeBron James compared Beasley to his former teammate J.R. Smith as both can be streaky but when they get hot are capable of lighting it up with the best the league has to offer.
Beasley got his first start with the Lakers on Wednesday night, joining fellow new acquisitions D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt in surrounding LeBron and Anthony Davis. The result was a positive one with the Lakers running away from the New Orleans Pelicans and afterward, Beasley was happy about how the Lakers looked.
“We were excited, especially me, D-Lo and Vando, we’ve played together,” Beasley said. “Just being able to play with LeBron and AD shows that we can play with anyone. They make the work way easier.”
Beasley also understands his role when next to the Lakers’ two stars and was excited at being next to James for the first time. “It was great,” the new Lakers guard added. “I know I got to be ready to shoot at all times because he’s getting double teams, same with AD. So just being ready to shoot at all times and play the right way.”
The additions of Beasley and Russell to the starting lineup provided much-needed spacing for LeBron and Davis to work with, while Vanderbilt is able to fill any role needed with his versatility on both ends of the floor. Going with this starting lineup also allowed the bench unit to feature players who have already built up chemistry, making that a more effective lineup as well.
The positive vibes were undoubtedly flowing in the Lakers’ locker room after the win and Beasley believes it is the start of a run to the postseason. “For sure. It felt like the start and we’re gonna make a run to the playoffs and keep pushing.”
In order for that run to happen, Beasley knows the Lakers will have to come out of the upcoming All-Star break firing on all cylinders. “Keep the momentum going,” he added. “Make sure we get a break but also keep working and just be ready to go for the second half.”
Wednesday night showed the Lakers have the pieces to be formidable and everyone on the team believes in what they have. Now it will be a matter of everyone coming together to accomplish that playoff goal.
Darvin Ham to use All-Star break to further integrate Lakers new additions
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is on the same page as Beasley, as far as coming out of the All-Star break running and he and the coaching staff plan on using the off time to get this group together.
“For sure. My coaching staff and I have talked about that extensively when we were meeting today and digging through the roster and putting different combinations up on the board,” Ham said when asked prior to the Lakers’ win over the Pelicans.
“Absolutely. Not just offensively, but defensively as well having a guy like Vando and another guy like Mo. Just having that extra additional rim protection aside from AD and Wenyen I think is gonna be huge. It’s a fun group when you look at it on paper, so definitely, we’re gonna try to hit the ground running once this break is over with.”
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