Roy Hibbert was acquired by the Lakers this summer primarily to try and plug the holes in a defense that ranked second to last in the league in defensive efficiency in 2014-15. The Lakers defense is currently giving up 108.8 points per 100 possessions, which is actually .8 points worse than last season, despite Hibbert's best efforts.
One area Hibbert was not necessarily expected to contribute as much was as a veteran mentor. On a team with plenty of players already considered leaders, Hibbert still has attempted to take the Lakers' younger players under his wing and make an impact on their careers. From organizing players for instruction during stoppages in play, to organizing off the court team building activities, Hibbert has openly relished a leadership role he could not fill for an Indiana Pacers team with other veterans already firmly entrenched as the voices of the team.
After a close Lakers' loss to the Orlando Magic on the second night of a back-to-back, Hibbert took to Twitter to praise the Lakers' young players:
Lakers fans should hope the seven-footer is right in his evaluations of the team's young core, and based on the team's effort versus Orlando it's easy to see the reason for Hibbert's praise. Larry Nance, Jr. built upon some strong recent play off of the bench and scored 13 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting, including a three-pointer. D'Angelo Russell earned some fourth quarter playing time on the back of a strong and confident effort and Julius Randle scored 12 points on 6-10 shooting with 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and one thunderous dunk. Clarkson had a mostly forgettable game, but did showcase a Steve Nash-like probing dribble for a nice bucket. It's good to see one of the team's veterans publicly praising his team's young studs.