Matt Ryan Delivered, But Not The One You’re Assuming

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Matt Ryan, left, celebrates with Russell Westbrook, center, after hitting a three-point shot to tie the score and force overtime in the Lakers’ win over the Pelicans.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Matt Ryan delivered in a big way. No, not the long-tenured quarterback that many of you may be thinking. This Matt Ryan is the sharp-shooting forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite an ailing LeBron James, the Lakers got their second win of the season and just as many in a row, thanks to some late-game heroics from Ryan.

On Wednesday night, the team staved off a late comeback to beat the New Orleans Pelicans in OT by a score of 120-117. The team gave up a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter but still pulled out a victory with the help of Ryan’s last-second three-point shooting. With the team down three, Darvin Ham drew up a play designed to get the ball to Ryan in the corner.

Despite being 2-for-8 from 3 before the play, Ryan came through with a clutch three-pointer that gave the tie going into overtime. Behind Lonnie Walker‘s 28 points, the offense was able to get the win and improve their record to 2-5 on the season.

Who is Matt Ryan?

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Matt Ryan delivered on Wednesday night but is also no stranger to deliveries. The sharpshooter from White Plains, NY, was a DoorDash delivery driver before suiting up for one game with the Celtics last year. The former high school All-American had a challenging collegiate career which saw him suit up for three schools before having his senior year ended by the pandemic.

He went undrafted in the 2020 draft but joined the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league team in 2021. His performance there landed him on Denver Nuggets’ training camp roster en route to a successful G-league stint.

Ryan eventually got his call-up with the Celtics, who signed him to a two-way contract. Despite limited minutes, Ryan was a part of a club that made the NBA finals. After his 2022 NBA Summer League showing with the Celtics, he was invited to the Lakers training camp. The team offered him a partially-guaranteed contract for this season, which he gladly accepted.

While Ryan is a project defensively, he addresses a significant Laker need ass a sharpshooter off the bench to provide quality depth to the starting lineup. Darvin Ham’s trust in him paid off in a big way when the Lakers were down three points at the end of the game.

What does the future hold?

Right now, Matt firmly cemented himself in the Lakers’ rotation. He is on a partial contract with the Lakers and will likely be with them for the rest of the season. If he can prove to be a consistent outside threat off the bench, then there is a good chance he could earn a longer deal at the end of the season.

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