The roster that Rob Pelinka and the Lakers cooked up this summer still has yet to make it to the dinner table. But, the overall health of the Lakers seems to be trending up. After missing the Lakers first 30 games, Trevor Ariza is finally getting close to mid-season form.
Ariza was signed this summer to bolster both the Lakers perimeter defense and their three-point shooting.
Head coach Frank Vogel had this to say when asked about Ariza on Tuesday:
“I've seen some really positive things from him in how's he's moving and his comfort level on what we're doing on both sides of the ball.”
At this point in his career, the 36-year-old Ariza is not likely to fill up a box score. Ariza’s role now is similar to what it was 12 years ago during the Lakers 2008-2009 championship run - doing the dirty work.
Ariza has been a valuable “glue guy” throughout his career. The former UCLA Bruin averaged more than 34 minutes per game in five straight NBA playoffs (2013-2018).
Vogel continued to explain his rosy outlook on what Ariza’s contributed so far.
“I really like what he's doing. Offensively: three-point line, spacing, being aggressive in catch and shoot situations. Being really efficient in re-drive situations. Putting the ball on the deck, not always to score, but to create for others. He's created a lot of good offense for us.”
Ariza started in the Lakers disappointing 125-116 loss in Sacramento on Wednesday night. He had five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one turnover in 25 minutes played.
History suggests that Ariza shouldn’t have a problem integrating himself into the current roster.
The Lakers (21-21) will need every bit of basketball Ariza has left in him.