• While the Lakers try to develop the core of players that will be in Los Angeles beyond April, Brook Lopez’s production takes a backseat.

    Lopez often finds himself on the bench late in games while Walton goes with a better pick-and-roll defender in Julius Randle. The big man is trying to stay positive and provide encouragement to a young squad that needs some veteran leadership. “You, as someone who can set an example,” Walton said he told Lopez, “we need to keep our body language up and positive no matter what’s going on out there.” Lopez is still returning top-100 value for the season but it looks more and more likely that he won’t be playing big minutes unless the Lakers’ frontcourt becomes less crowded.


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