The Los Angeles Lakers reeled off their seventh straight win on Friday night versus the Dallas Mavericks and they did it without Anthony Davis. Much of the Lakers’ success this season has largely been thanks to the play of a number of veteran role players. And while Jared Dudley may not play a whole lot of minutes, he’s been able to impact the game when he does come on the floor.
Dudley knows that he isn’t the most important player on the team and that’s the kind of role he was looking for.
“I don’t think people understand how deep we are. I was starting playoff games last year now I’m 14th, 15th man,” Dudley said after the win versus Dallas, via NBA.com. “It’s the role I wanted. People forget about that. I chose this… It’s good for me to be here, it’s good to contribute [so that I can show] not only the coaching staff but the players that I can still play at a high level.”
Dudley is among the players who could be vital to a potential championship run. The Lakers don’t need him to make consistent plays, but if he can come in and contribute from time to time, that could make a big difference.
Dudley Shades Mavericks Star Luke Doncic
Much of the reason Los Angeles was able to take out Dallas by 15 points was because of its ability to contain Luka Doncic. The 20-year old phenom has looked close to unstoppable this season and while he did put up good numbers against the Lakers, they weren’t enough to help his team win. Dudley played a big role in slowing down Doncic at points in the game and he decided to throw a bit of shade after the game.
“I would’ve been out of the league a long time ago if it was just about scoring,” Dudley said. “For me, it’s positioning. Knowing where the player’s out there… but for me, it’s ‘stay in front,’ take Luka’s three-ball away and don’t foul him. You know he’s flopping half the game and then offensively it’s really easy.”
This isn’t the first time Doncic has been called out for flopping and it probably won’t be the last. A lot of the top players in the NBA will try to oversell fouls, so it’s hard to hold it against him, but it’s clear that Dudley isn’t a fan.
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Luka Isn’t Taking Lebron’s Crown Yet
There’s going to be a time when LeBron James is no longer in the conversation for who the best basketball player in the world is. However, he’s proven once again that he can’t objectively be counted out. Luka Doncic appears like he could be James’ heir apparent as he’s playing out of his mind and he’s only 20 years old.
Some could argue that he’s already the best player in the NBA. Friday’s game proved that James shouldn’t be counted out just yet as he clearly outplayed Doncic. His time will come, but James has over a decade of dominance on his resume. “The King” may just be on his way to winning another MVP award.