Jarred Vanderbilt had always been an unassuming presence on the Los Angeles Lakers squad. Despite his quiet demeanor, he had quickly become a vital piece in the Lakers’ quest for an NBA championship. Vanderbilt’s defensive prowess had been particularly impressive during the Western Conference semifinals against the Golden State Warriors.
However, as the Lakers prepared for Game 1 of the series, a Sak employee claimed that Vanderbilt had bought $2000 worth of clothes, only to return them the next day. The accusation had caught many off guard, and some had even wondered if it had anything to do with Vanderbilt’s lackluster performance in Game 2.
Despite the controversy, Vanderbilt remained focused on his job: guarding Stephen Curry. In Game 1, he had done a commendable job of slowing down the Warriors’ star player, and he had even forced him into committing several turnovers. However, in Game 2, it was Klay Thompson who had stolen the show, making eight 3-pointers and leading the Warriors to a resounding victory.
Despite the loss, Vanderbilt’s performance had not gone unnoticed. He had proven himself to be a reliable defender, and his ability to shut down some of the league’s top players had not gone unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. In just a few short months, Vanderbilt had gone from being a relatively unknown player to becoming an essential piece of the Lakers’ championship aspirations.
As the series continued, Vanderbilt remained determined to help his team overcome the Warriors. He knew that the Lakers were counting on him to keep Curry and Thompson in check, and he was more than up to the task. With his relentless defense and his unwavering dedication to his team, Vanderbilt had helped turn the Lakers from a mediocre squad to one that was looking to do some serious damage in the NBA playoffs.