In the Los Angeles Lakers’ thrilling overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Lakers starting center Brook Lopez suffered an ankle injury and while the results of the MRI came back negative, he’s still expected to miss extended time.
Brook Lopez had an MRI confirm a moderate ankle sprain in his right ankle. Lopez will be reevaluated in 3 weeks. The minutes at center can be dispersed between Randle and Nance, and get Kuzma more PT at the 4. Alternatively, when LAL go big, Walton has Bogut, Zubac + T. Bryant.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 19, 2017
Early in his career, Lopez struggled to stay on the floor because of nagging issues with his right foot. However, after playing just 96 games from 2011 to 2014, Lopez has played at least 70 games in each of the last three seasons. In fact, Lopez has played in all 28 games the Lakers have played this season.
Despite his struggles as of late, Lopez will be missed on the floor, particularly on the defensive end. Lopez leads the Lakers in blocked shots with 1.6 blocks per game, the 10th most in the NBA. Lopez is a big reason the Lakers are the third-best shot blocking team in the league after coming in at 28th last season.
On the season, Lopez is averaging a career-low 12.8 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
With Lopez out for at least three weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Randle eat up the majority of the playing time at the center position. Other names to watch include Andrew Bogut, Thomas Bryant and Ivica Zubac. Zubac will not travel with the team to Houston or Oakland this week.
All stats courtesy of stats.nba.com unless otherwise noted.