LA Lakers are just one win away from clinching the NBA title. After securing the number one seed in the West during the regular season, they've been the most dominant team in the 2020 NBA playoffs.
In this article, we'll take a look at five LA Lakers role players who surprised everyone and delivered the best value for money.
5 best LA Lakers role players who delivered in the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs
The LA Lakers have played 19 games so far in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, winning 15 of them. While superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been paid the big bucks, a few others have managed to overachieve despite being on relatively smaller contracts since the beginning of the season.
#5 Dwight Howard
Salary for this season: $2.6 million.
Dwight Howard's career hit a rock bottom after he was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019. The LA Lakers took a chance on the 34-year-old and offered him a one-year vet minimum contract.
Howard embraced his new role as a bench player exceptionally well with the LA Lakers during the regular season.
He proved his worth during the Western Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs by playing incredible defense on Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic. The player scored double-digit points twice in the series and recorded a double-double in Game 4.
Dwight Howard was promoted as the starting center for the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
#4 Markieff MorrisPortland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Lakers - Game One
Salary for this season: $1.75 million.
Markieff Morris signed a one-year $1.75 million contract in February 2020. After showing some flashes of brilliance during the regular season, he proved his worth during the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
While going up against the small-ball Houston Rockets, Morris was forced to play as the 4 (sometimes 5) in order to match the Rockets' size. Morris had two games with 16 points and punished the Houston Rockets with some clutch 3s.
During the first four games in the NBA Finals, the 31-year-old has hit the most 3-pointers (11) by any LA Lakers player.
#3 Alex CarusoMinnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Lakers
Salary for this season: $2.75 million.
Alex Caruso was a fan favorite ever since the NBA season began. After signing a 2-year $5.5 million contract in 2019, Caruso has been a useful contributor in the LA Lakers' bench.
However, the 26-year-old took it up a notch in the 2020 NBA playoffs and has been one of the best defenders in the LA Lakers camp.
Caruso leads the league in the number of steals by a bench player (21). He has also shot the ball better and has hit some clutch 3s in the NBA playoffs.
#2 Kentavious Caldwell-PopePhiladelphia 76ers vs Los Angeles Lakers
Salary for this season: $8.49 million.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's salary may be on the higher side as the 27-year-old is making over $8 million this season. But he's more than delivered his money's worth during the NBA playoffs.
Caldwell-Pope has been the third-best offensive player in the LA Lakers roster after LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The player has avergaed over ten points in the NBA playoffs and has made a huge impact at both ends of the court. In Game 4 against the Miami Heat, Caldwell-Pope scored five of his 15 points during the last three minutes of the game, thereby ensuring victory for the LA Lakers.
#1 Rajon RondoLos Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets - Game Three
Salary for this season: $2.56 million.
Rajon Rondo was probably the most-criticized player during the regular season. But coach Frank Vogel's trust in the veteran paid off big time during the 2020 NBA playoffs.
After returning from injury during the second round against the Houston Rockets, Rondo has been absolutely sensational as the leader of LA Lakers' second unit.
The 34-year-old has taken the pressure off LeBron James' shoulders and has been the floor general when James was on the bench. Rondo leads the league with most assists (10) per 36 minutes.Published 08 Oct 2020, 05:00 IST