It’s only been a few days since Wesley Matthews officially signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers but it’s becoming increasingly clear that he will be a fan favorite. The veteran shooting guard talked to reporters for the first time as a Laker this week and spoke at length about the role he sees himself in Los Angeles, focusing mainly on the defensive end.
In fact, Matthews spoke glowingly about the Lakers’ defensive prowess last season, especially in the postseason, and the team’s ability to make adjustments and play a various number of ways to win games. From the sounds of it, Matthews, who called himself a “defensive mind on a team full of defensive-minded players” believes he will plug right into that mentality whether he is asked to start or come off the bench.
.@LakersReporter asked Wesley Matthews what stood out to him about the defense that Frank Vogel and the Lakers have built.
"I saw a lot of adjustments." pic.twitter.com/Zn0RwqKmmh
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 24, 2020
If you’re a Lakers fan, that’s exactly what you want to hear from Matthews, a player who has always had a chip on his shoulder since signing with the Utah Jazz as an undrafted free agent in 2009. The Lakers seem to have taken a slight hit on the defensive end (at least on paper) due to major roles that will be played by the likes of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell so getting this type of mindset from their other role players will be a huge key for their chances of replicating their success last season.
Of course, Matthews isn’t a one-trick pony. The career 38-percent shooter is expecting to get plenty of open looks playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and it will be his job to knock them down consistently from the perimeter. The 34-year-old admitted that he plans to watch every 3-point shot that Lakers’ guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green shot last season to specifically practice them ahead of training camp starting next week.
I think we can safely say Wesley Matthews is happy to be in purple and gold.