Lakers’ Jarred Vanderbilt to guard Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic on Sunday
Since coming to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Russell Westbrook trade, forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been a revelation, particularly on the defensive end.
He has taken on the task of guarding standout wings, and he has shown himself capable of effectively guarding players at multiple positions.
Vanderbilt has the energy, athleticism, effort and desire to fight through screens, help and recover, contest shots and get into the passing lanes to force turnovers.
On Sunday, the Lakers will visit the Dallas Mavericks, which means dealing with Luka Doncic. According to head coach Darvin Ham, Vanderbilt will have the main defensive assignment of covering Doncic.
Darvin Ham said Jarred Vanderbilt will start as the primary defender against Luka Doncic but the Lakers will throw different looks at him.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 24, 2023
"He's a great player, he plays at his own pace… so just not let him be comfortable, when he's comfortable he's a great player." @JVando is ready for the defensive assignment on Luka Sunday. pic.twitter.com/dcXRtoI60c
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 25, 2023
Doncic causes headaches for everyone, as he is averaging 33.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field this season.
However, in six games head-to-head against Vanderbilt, Doncic has been held far below his usual production.
Luka Doncic versus Jarred Vanderbilt throughout his career thus far:
21.8 ppg on 43.4% from the field and 29.4% from 3 pic.twitter.com/yoJwGkFe15
— 🎗NBA•Fan🎗 (@Prime_LeBron23) February 24, 2023
The Lakers will have their hands full, especially if D’Angelo Russell isn’t able to play due to a sprained ankle. However, winning isn’t exactly out of the question for them, even if Russell is out.
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