The NBA’s Christmas Day slate is always the best way to celebrate the holiday season, even when the actual contests aren’t particularly competitive. Heading into the prime-time showdown between the Lakers and Mavs, we’d already witnessed three double-digit blowout wins, so there was still hope we’d get treated to at least one barn-burner before it was said and done.
Alas, that was not to be, as the Lakers walked away with a 138-115 win, marking their first victory on the young season after dropping their opener against the Clippers earlier in the week. LeBron posted a casual 22 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the night, as Anthony Davis led the way with 28 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
But far more noteworthy were the contributions they got from their newest offseason additions, who represent what they hope will be significant roster upgrades as they look to defend their title against what appears to be a growing gauntlet of contenders who are announcing their arrival early this season.
Speaking to Rachel Nichols after the game, LeBron offered high praise to Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell for coming up big in their Christmas Day win.
Talking to LeBron James after the Lakers blast the Mavericks on Christmas Day – he says it’s a balance to both manage his minutes with the fact that “we want to win every game,” but that the Lakers’ new additions are giving the whole team energy: pic.twitter.com/6kocjX4QUD
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) December 26, 2020
Harrell was particularly impactful against Dallas on Friday, scoring 22 points on efficient 10-of-13 shooting from the field and snagging seven rebounds in his 28 minutes of action. Schroder was equally impressive, finishing with 18 points and six assists and a comparably efficient 7-of-11 on the night.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have already engaged in contract extension talks with Schroder, as they look to keep him around for the long-term. Schroder had previously turned down their two-year, $34 million extension offer prior to the season. After February 16, Schroder becomes eligible for an extension in the range of four years, $83 million, though it remains to be seen whether the Lakers will be willing to go that high.
Regardless, he and Harrell have already started to pay dividends and give a taste of what this new-look Lakers squad might be capable of this season as they look to repeat as champs.