With the playoffs right around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make a big-time push. They made a ton of moves at the trade deadline this year in an attempt to bolster their roster and, in turn, their championship hopes.
On Tuesday night, they took down the New Orleans Pelicans in a rather convincing win. And when asked about the difference between the Lakers at the beginning of the season and now, Pelicans head coach Willie Green praised their deadline moves, showing serious love to Jarred Vanderbilt.
“Yeah, they’re a better shot-making team,” Green said via the Pelicans’ official YouTube channel. “And they did a great job of adding [D’Angelo] Russell and [Malik] Beasley. And then Vanderbilt is guarding teams’ best players and offensive rebounding, getting those guys extra possessions. So, they’re a more balanced team.”
Vanderbilt didn’t put up particularly impressive stats against the Pelicans, but he always makes sure to make an impact that doesn’t show up in the box score. He ended the game with four points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal on 1-of-4 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, Beasley had a great game against the Pelicans. The Lakers wing finished the night with 24 points, two rebounds, three assists, and two steals on 8-of-16 shooting overall and 7-of-12 shooting from deep.
As for Russell, he was inefficient, but he still put up decent numbers. The point guard dropped 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks on 5-of-15 shooting from the floor and 3-of-9 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Anthony Davis Shows Love to Malik Beasley
Beasley’s three-point performance was essential to the Lakers’ victory over the Pelicans. After the game, Lakers star big man Anthony Davis threw some high praise Beasley’s way.
“After shootaround today, he got a lot of threes up, and it showed,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He’s very hard on himself, and as far as shooting the basketball, he never wants to miss two in a row. And he came out on fire. Anytime he’s making shots, it just opens the floor up more for all our guys to get to the basket. Even when he’s missing, I mean, you still got to respect him as a shooter. But when he’s making, he gets very hot, and the rim gets very big for him.”
D’Angelo Russell Praises Anthony Davis
In addition, Davis was absolutely dominant against the Pelicans. He finished the night with 35 points, 17 rebounds, and one assist on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 shooting from behind the three-point line. After the game, Russell showed lots of love to Davis for his performance in recent games.
“To answer your question, AD is a monster,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He continues to dominate the games. From defensively or offensively, tonight, he did a little bit of both. So, he continues to help our team. And then our supporting cast was amazing as well. I think that’s what got us over the hump.”