In the absence of LeBron James, every player on the Los Angeles Lakers was going to need to step up to help fill that void. Obviously, Anthony Davis would be relied upon even more to lead the team, but when it comes to helping pick up the scoring slack, Lonnie Walker IV has been outstanding.
Walker is currently the Lakers’ third-leading scorer at 16.5 points per game and has upped his 3-point percentage to a respectable 35.7 percent. In the Lakers’ win against the Nets Sunday night Walker poured in 25 points while hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range. But it was Davis who led the way for the Lakers to get that victory and Walker had nothing bur praise for his star teammate.
“This is the AD,” Walker said after the win. “37 and 18 rebounds? This AD that you know what to expect every single game. He’s one of few players that you have no choice but to double. And if you don’t double, you’re gonna have a long game against us. So he was a lot more aggressive. I think he took about, out of the 25 shots, about 22 in the paint or 23 in the paint. He was letting his presence be known grabbing rebounds. He did everything. He’s the one that took us to this win.”
Davis truly did everything and as Walker pointed out, he did his damage inside with all but two of his attempts coming in the paint. But for as great as he is as a player, Walker also made sure to point out just how good a teammate the Lakers big man is as well.
“And as a teammate, I mean, it’s a gift,” Walker added. “You know, it’s one of the greatest gifts to be around someone who’s a future Hall of Famer, continuously teaching. Improving my IQ and improving certain aspects of the game that I’m trying to learn as a young player. And that’s all I can ask for. So for him to be just as good on the court and off the court and probably even a greater teammate speaks volume.”
Many have called for Davis to be more of a leader this season and that seems to be the case as he is not just performing on the court, but really trying to help uplift his teammates as well. Walker has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers this year and it looks as if Davis and other vets are doing their job in helping him grow as a player.
Lonnie Walker IV expecting Lakers to get reinforcements by Friday
Following Sunday’s win, the Lakers have four days off before taking the court again and Walker made note that the team could finally be at full strength when they face the Pistons on Friday.
“God willing, we got four days off, where we’re gonna have our full team by Friday,” Walker said. “I know Dennis Schroder is gonna be back, who’s a terrific player. Thomas Bryant is gonna be back, who’s a terrific player. And hopefully, LeBron [James] will be back on Friday as well. So we’ll be fully suited and ready to go. Like I always say, it’s just all about growth, understanding what we did today, see how we can carry it over Friday.”
While they aren’t game-changers, Schroder and Bryant could provide some much-needed depth to this Lakers team and having them in uniform will be a welcome sight.
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