In the opening round, Jarred Vanderbilt seemed completely out of place. He might, however, be the Lakers’ solution to their Steph Curry issue.

Jarred Vanderbilt lost a playoff dud in the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies after spending the regular season winning people over with his unmatched effort and intensity (even drawing comparisons to Dennis Rodman).

Through his first six postseason games (a time when starters are ostensibly supposed to see a bump in playing time), Vanderbilt’s minutes decreased from the 24 he averaged during the regular season to 19.8 per game. On top of that, he would often spend the waning moments of games on the bench, with the pleasantly-surprising Rui

Styles make the fights in the NBA Playoffs

Matchups are everything in the playoffs, both for the teams and for the players. This is especially true for role players. Generally speaking, stars will always find a way to get theirs, and if they don’t, their coach will do whatever they can to help them figure it out because, without them, the team’s chances of victory decrease significantly. Role players don’t have that same leash. If they don’t have it in a particular series, coaches won’t hesitate to go to someone that does.

That’s what happened to Jarred Vanderbilt last round. Vanderbilt is not a good shooter (28.8 percent 3-point shooter for his career), so your team takes a hit in spacing whenever he’s on the floor. The idea is that what you lose in spacing on offense, though, you gain in versatility on defense.