Player News - Lakers

Date: Team: Pos:

Lakers coach Luke Walton said he thinks the frontcourt combo of Julius Randle and Brook Lopez can work in certain matchups.

Both players have basically been in a timeshare at center this season, but Walton has experimented with them next to each other lately. "It works well with Brook because Brook spaces the floor so he kind of turns into the space ‘four,’" Walton said, "and Julius can still do all that dynamic rolling hat he does and switch defensively. We’ll keep fooling with that." This improves the outlook of both players a bit, but the return of Larry Nance (hand) next will only complicate things again.
Nov 23 - 12:41 PM

Lonzo Ball made 4-of-8 from the field for 11 points during a 113-102 loss to the Kings on Wednesday, adding seven rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes.

He's getting killed on social media for his awful shooting percentages, but he's actually been decent on the road. In his eight road games, he has a sub-par 45.8 TS%, but that plummets to a historically bad 30.6 TS% when he's at Staples Center. He did also miss both of his free throws to drop him to 42.9 percent from the charity stripe on the season -- that's worse than Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond or any free throw percentage qualifier. The good news is he's taking a step in the right direction, but he has a very deep hole to climb out of to be a reliable fantasy asset.
Nov 23 - 1:59 AM

Julius Randle scored 14 points with eight rebounds, two assists, one block and two steals in 29 minutes against the Kings on Wednesday.

The Kings were feeding Zach Randolph and that helps explain why Randle saw more run. Coach Luke Walton said he wanted to pick up the pace with Randle against Z-Bo and Brook Lopez got burned in the first quarter. While we did expect Randle to play some more power forward after Larry Nance Jr. (hand) went down, it didn't really happen. In the last 11 games, Randle played just 16 minutes next to Brook Lopez and 243 minutes without him. Randle may not take a hit with Nance back next week.
Nov 23 - 1:50 AM

Brook Lopez scored four points with one rebound and one block in 17 minutes against the Kings on Wednesday.

The one rebound is rough, and this is his fourth one-board game on the season. Zach Randolph went off early and coach Luke Walton took Lopez out early because of it. Lopez continues to be a victim of game script and pace, especially in losses. When the Lakers win, Lopez has played 26.6 minutes per game, but that drops to 22.0 in losses. Annoying games aside, Lopez has been decent this month with 16.7 points, 5.3 boards and 2.0 blocks in his previous games. He could take a slight hit when Larry Nance Jr. (hand) comes back.
Nov 23 - 1:43 AM

Julius Randle double-doubled vs. the Bulls on Tuesday with 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 28 minutes.

Coach Luke Walton credited Randle after the game for changing the energy and effort level as the Lakers were able to climb their way back from a 19-point deficit. His defense has really improved this season, as his opponents are shooting less than 29 percent and committing turnovers more than 17 percent of the time when going one-on-one against him. Unfortunately for Randle, the frontcourt in Los Angeles is going to be really crowded again soon with Larry Nance (hand) due back next week.
Nov 22 - 1:37 AM

Brandon Ingram scored 17 points vs. the Bulls on Tuesday, hitting 7-of-15 shots and 2-of-3 free throws.

His confidence continues to grow and he's being aggressive just like the coaching staff has asked him, as he's leading the Lakers in drives per game with 9.9 compared to just 3.6 as a rookie. Ingram had a nice all-around fantasy game with five rebounds, five assists, two blocks, one steal and one triple in 39 minutes, but his owners just want to see more consistency out of the second-year forward.
Nov 22 - 1:31 AM

Brook Lopez scored a season-low four points on Tuesday vs. the Bulls with nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in just 25 minutes.

His brother Robin won this matchup, posting 14 points on 7-of-11 shots while Brook finished just 2-of-10 from the field. He's had some awesome games this season, but some major duds as well with six games in single digits. Things are only going to get more frustrating with Larry Nance (hand) due back next week.
Nov 22 - 1:24 AM

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points with nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and four 3-pointers in Tuesday's win over the Bulls.

He played a whopping 39 minutes, hitting 6-of-11 shots and 5-of-7 free throws. KCP has been hit-or-miss this season, but he's been a lot more consistent over his last five games with 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 3.0 triples. He has to be owned while he's this hot, but just be prepared for some duds on the nights his shot isn't falling.
Nov 22 - 1:18 AM

Kyle Kuzma scored a game-high 22 points in Tuesday's 103-94 comeback win over the Bulls, hitting 7-of-15 shots and 4-of-7 free throws.

The Lakers climbed back from a 19-point deficit and Kuzma kept them in striking distance with a monster first half. He finished with five assists, three rebounds, four 3-pointers and two turnovers in 40 minutes. Larry Nance (hand) is targeting a return to the court next week, but it's hard to imagine the Lakers taking Kuzma out of the starting lineup because they need him to space the floor for Lonzo Ball and they need his offense in general -- the Lakers rank 28th in offensive rating this season.
Nov 22 - 1:13 AM

Lonzo Ball hit just 3-of-13 shots for eight points, 13 rebounds, four assists, one steal, two triples and one turnover on Tuesday vs. the Bulls.

His efficiency is still horrendous, but Ball makes up for it other areas such as rebounding, assists and defensive stats. So how inefficient are we talking? According to ESPN, just 12 players since the advent of the 3-point line in 1979 have posted a true shooting percentage worse than Ball's .368 mark (with at least 500 minutes). Until Ball improves as a scorer, he'll continue to be a much better fantasy asset in leagues that don't punish his shooting woes.
Source: ESPN
Nov 22 - 1:13 AM

Larry Nance Jr. (hand) has been a full participant in recent practices and he's targeting a return to the court on Monday vs. the Clippers.

Nance recently had a dental procedure that will prevent him from getting in some work with L.A.'s G-League affiliate, and while he won't be able to take the court for Tuesday's game against Chicago, next Monday against the Clippers seems like a very realistic potential return date. Once he's back, Julius Randle will go back to playing minutes in the teens, but with how well Kyle Kuzma has been playing, it would be surprising to see him lose his starting role. Nance is a fine low-end stash in deep leagues.
Nov 21 - 2:22 PM

Kyle Kuzma finished Sunday's win vs. the Nuggets with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, three 3-pointers, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 26 minutes.

Luke Walton reportedly "challenged Kuzma to focus on his all-around game" prior to this contest, and he yanked him early tonight after some ill-advised shots. The playing time was easily Kuzma's lowest in November, but nothing suggests this will become a trend. He'll clear 30 minutes vs. the Bulls on Tuesday and remains a solid option in almost every fantasy format, despite a lack of defensive stats.
Nov 20 - 12:54 AM

Lonzo Ball posted the second triple-double of his NBA career on Sunday with 11 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes.

The Lakers snapped a two-game losing streak tonight and Ball continues to be a fantasy dynamo, with the glaring exception of percentages (30.8% FGs and 46.2% FTs). In every other respect he's been awesome, averaging 6.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 threes and 0.9 blocks. His fantasy value hinges on each league's scoring settings -- if you can ignore percentages, the 20-year-old is already a stud.
Nov 20 - 12:50 AM

Julius Randle lit up the Nuggets on Sunday for a season-high 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting, hitting one 3-pointer with seven rebounds, five assists and two turnovers.

Randle played 32 minutes, after logging just 16 minutes vs. Phoenix on Friday, and after the game coach Luke Walton said, "When [Randle] plays like he did tonight, he's as good as anyone in this league]." Nikola Jokic (ejection) and Paul Millsap (wrist) were both out after halftime tonight, and Randle deserves credit for taking advantage of the situation, but we're skeptical since Kyle Kuzma is playing well at PF and Larry Nance (hand) is due back soon.
Nov 20 - 12:46 AM

The Lakers have recalled Ivica Zubac and Josh Hart from the G-League.

Both players deserve more run in Los Angeles, but that may not happen consistently until later in the season.
Nov 19 - 1:12 PM


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