Los Angeles Lakers swingman Lonnie Walker IV seemed to fall out of favor as soon as the Lakers had some new toys to play with.
However, Walker had no trouble reminding the Lakers who they were playing with, as he scored 20 points on 7-12 shooting from the field during Friday's victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder after recording three straight DNP-CDs. He also added three steals.
Among Walker's 20 points (and four 3-point conversions) was a late-game three that game L.A. a lead that they would never lose.
Lonnie Walker IV tonight:
• 20 points
• 4 rebounds
• 3 steals
• 7/12 FG’s — 4/8 3pt
Played a combined 13 minutes since March 8th
Stepped up with no D’Lo in the biggest game of the year 🤞🤞 pic.twitter.com/lMKI6pxvYO
— 🌟Fake (@LALeBron23) March 25, 2023
Walker would tell reporters after the game that he's “really been going with the words ‘Divine Timing’ and understanding that the work’s not done, that God has my back” (h/t Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times).
For those that may not feel divinely inspired by those words for reasons of their own, Walker breaks it down to a philosophical level.
“Understanding whether that’s now or later, it’s all gonna come back in the right time. So, every day I’ve been in the gym, just being positive, understanding what we’re doing, what we’re trying to accomplish, and staying ready.”
Walker has averaged 12.4 points per game this season on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.3 percent shooting from 3-point range. Considering that fan favorite Austin Reaves been praised while averaging 12.3 points per game this season, it seems a bit unfair that Walker is the odd man out of the rotation.
Sure, the additions of D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley altered the rotation for the Lakers, but one still has to wonder if it had to come at the expense of Walker.