Thomas Bryant Records Dominant Statline That No Lakers Player Has Done Since Shaquille O’Neal
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The vibes are certainly very solid for the Los Angeles Lakers, and a large reason for that has been the resurgence of Thomas Bryant.

Bryant’s 2022-23 season got off to a rocky start due to a thumb injury that kept him out, but after spending the first couple of months getting back into game shape and assuming a larger role when Anthony Davis went down, he has become an absolute monster for the Lakers.

Los Angeles is currently on a five-game win streak, with their most recent victory coming in a thrilling back-and-forth affair with the Sacramento Kings. Bryant was brilliant in the win, recording 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting while also finding the time to pull down 14 rebounds, with four of them coming on the offensive end.

His efficient shooting night and big-time rebounding put Bryant in rare company as he became the first Laker since Shaquille O’Neal to record such a statline, via StatMuse:

Any time a player shares a feat with O’Neal they must be doing something right as the former Laker center was well-known for his dominance in the painted area. Bryant is nowhere near the physical specimen and player O’Neal was, but there’s no denying that he’s been just about as effective and efficient as any other center in the league right now. Offensively, Bryant has become a real factor and his presence near the rim has helped out his teammates.

Not only is Bryant excellent finishing around the basket, but he’s also proven to be a reliable jump shooter from about 15 feet. Perhaps his most impactful ability, though, is his willingness and ability to run the floor hard in transition. Several times throughout a game, Bryant will run hard toward the basket where he gets rewarded for layups and dunks.

It would be reckless to expect such big performances from Bryant every game going forward, but he’s carved out a sizable role on the Lakers and hopefully he’s able to continue playing this well to help the team keep winning.

LeBron James explains Lakers recent success

There’s a renewed optimism and positivity revolving around Los Angeles, and it shows whenever they are on the floor. LeBron James has been a driving factor in that, but he also explained that the overall ball movement and defensive rebounding have been two key areas in their recent success.

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