For the first time in five games, Lakers center Brook Lopez scored in double figures Saturday. He did it mostly in a first half during which the Lakers were strong inside against the ailing Denver Nuggets. Lopez has been in a bit of a slump lately, as he adjusts to a role with the Lakers that doesn’t always guarantee playing time. “It is different for me for sure,” Lopez said. “I am used to being out there. I love being out there on the court trying to help my team whenever I can. Obviously I am going to understand and accept my role wherever it may be as long as it helps the team.” Lopez made one three-pointer Saturday night, ending a four-game drought involving the skill he’d taught himself in order to adapt to the modern NBA. But the modern NBA also means teams often go small, and that is costing Lopez minutes. “One of our biggest strengths is our switching lineup with Julius [Randle] at the five,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “That doesn’t allow the opportunity to get him back in there and the game is being played like that and momentum is being built up where you normally go back to your starters, but the way Julius has been playing, [Lopez] doesn’t get that next chance so his minutes are down from his average in his career.” Lopez has averaged 23.2 minutes per game this season, easily his lowest average of his career. He played 23 on Saturday and scored 15 points.
Brook Lopez settles into role with Lakers
Los Angeles Times | Dec 4