The Los Angeles Lakers recently regained some key pieces in their rotation with Thomas Bryant and Dennis Schroeder returning from thumb injuries.
Bryant, in particular, has given the Lakers a huge boost in the last two games where they previously lacked size outside of Anthony Davis.
In his first two games as a running back, Bryant averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 81.8% from the field.
Most of his points came on easy, dunked passes with teammates. Russell Westbrook played a big part in that, picking him up right where they left off when they played together for the Washington Wizards in 2020-2021.
After the Lakers’ recent victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Bryant discussed his chemistry with Westbrook and how it had helped him in the last two games.
“Oh, sure. Absolutely. The chemistry we had there just for that short period of time was really great and I tried to maintain that chemistry throughout the summer, when I was injured, still trying to connect with him and learn from him as much as I can.”
Bryant also added that Westbrook made sure to focus on his pace play which made it easier for him to play.
He once said to me, ‘TB, get out and run! Bryant said.
Westbrook agreed on the importance of quick play, adding that he likes to reward his big men who hit the ground running.
“Just run. Anytime I see the big boys and men running around, I love to reward them. I can make the game easy for them, especially players like Thomas, Wenin, and whoever is on the floor. I’m proud of making the players around me better and I’m happy to be able to see him come back and help him get his rhythm up and play well.”
It’s only been two games since Bryant’s return but he looks like a valuable piece of the bench for LA so far. The Lakers are holding on to Anthony Davis as their starting center, but they still need a backup that can provide something on both ends of the floor and that’s what Bryant did.
Bryant believes the role is still evolving
Although Bryant has gotten along well with Westbrook and others since returning to action, he believes his role is still evolving.
“I think we’re still evolving,” Bryant added. “I think we all play an important role in certain ways in every game. But I think we’re still growing as a team. Like I said, it’s my second game again, it’s [Dennis Schroder’s] The return of the second match also. The guys are really healthy here so I think we’re on a good path, that’s what I would say.”
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