Along with big games from the starting frontcourt, the Los Angeles Lakers also got a major contribution from rookie Josh Hart in their 102-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Being re-inserted into the starting lineup, Hart provided a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Hart has shown that he is a more than capable rebounder from the guard position, but 14 is impressive for any player.
Following the win, Hart revealed that he had a certain Hall of Fame player in his mind when attacking the glass, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I was channeling my inner-Charles Barkley. Under-sized guys. That was the one emphasis coach Luke talked about. I just wanted to go in and hustle. Just play hard, and that was a factor from that.”
Head coach Luke Walton also credited Hart for his all-around performance, including bringing toughness and physicality to the team:
“He brought toughness. He was scrapping all night long. One of our things we like most about him is his rebounding ability. Hit a big three in the corner for us. His physical presence was great tonight for us. I felt like he had kind of gotten away from that a little bit the last week or so. For whatever reason, he picked it up again tonight.”
Hart is exactly the kind of defensive-minded, scrappy player the Lakers are in need of. He understands his role and embraces it, but is also a skilled player who can score inside and out.
His strength has also made him very useful as he is capable of switching on to bigger players and holding his own in the paint.
Nights like this prove that Hart is another gem the Lakers have found late in the draft. He has quickly become a fan favorite and someone who could carve himself out an even bigger role sooner rather than later.
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