The Los Angeles Lakers are 5-5 through 10 games to start the season, and plenty of fans are disappointed that the team isn’t over .500 at this point.
Although it has now won two games in a row, it is still, to a certain extent, lacking aggression, especially defensively and on the boards. It struggled to get past a low-quality and banged-up Portland Trail Blazers team on Sunday, and help is needed in the form of getting injured players back.
Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent, two of the Lakers’ best and grittiest defenders, have been out lately. Vanderbilt, in particular, hasn’t played since their first preseason game due to left heel bursitis.
Fortunately, the forward has reportedly been cleared to begin a return to play progression.
Jarred Vanderbilt has been cleared to begin a return to play progression by the Lakers team doctors, the team announced.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 13, 2023
Vanderbilt’s defensive versatility, energy and intensity will be welcome once he returns to game action. If he starts to consistently hit from 3-point range, he may even challenge for a spot in head coach Darvin Ham’s starting lineup.