Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error With the Lakers, Lopez is averaging career lows in points (12.8) and minutes (22.4), while grabbing fewer rebounds (4.3) than all but one previous season – 2011-12, when he played just five games.“He spent his whole career with one team,” Walton said, “so it takes time. You put the Dream Teams together and it takes them time to start to figure each other out and play together.”Lopez is also failing to meet expectations from the perimeter. After evolving into one of the best 3-point shooting big men in the league last year, Lopez has made just 29.7 percent of his shots from distance.One player who will not see a bigger role due to Lopez’s absence, at least not initially, is Ivica Zubac. The second-year center from Croatia has appeared in just six games after showing promise at the end of last season, essentially fourth on the depth chart.He will remain with the South Bay Lakers while the Lakers are on the road in Houston and at Golden State before returning to play Portland on Saturday.“It’s important for him that he gets a lot of minutes and he plays and gets his confidence and stays sharp,” Walton said, “because he worked so hard this offseason and he just hasn’t been, with our schedule, hasn’t been getting enough practice time and an opportunity.”BALL MEETS HOOPIs it possible that Lonzo Ball is … gasp … not the worst shooter in the history of basketball?Over his last three games, the No. 2 overall pick has averaged 15.3 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and knocking down three 3-pointers per game at a 45-percent clip.It’s a small sample size, but so too were the early-season numbers that had many wondering if Ball was simply a hopeless jump shooter. (Through his first 20 games, Ball shot 30.9 percent from the field and a dreadful 24.5 percent from 3-point range.)“As a 19-year-old rookie coming in,” Walton said, “there’s a lot of pressure, and the 3-point line is different, people guard you different, the length and speed is different, and every time you miss a shot, the entire media world comments on that you can’t shoot. So I think for him, it’s been getting comfortable, finding his groove at his level.”The uptick in Ball’s shooting was on display in overtime of the Lakers’ loss to the Warriors, with Ball scoring seven of his team’s 12 points before his last-second layup was blocked by David West.His burst even included a pull-up mid-range jumper, something that has not been in his repertoire early in his career.“Just been working on it,” Ball said, “going left, going right, working on my mid-range game. We see on film that a lot of people are going under (screens) or sagging, so it is always open.”Walton said that particular move has been a point of intense focus with assistant coach Miles Simon.“Hard work is how you get better,” Walton said. “If you come in before any of our practices and after, you’ll see (Ball) on the court working, and he’ll continue to get better as he grows in this league.”EXTRA POSSESSIONSThe Lakers will be without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Wednesday due to court-ordered travel restrictions that prohibit him from leaving California until the middle of January. As such, he will rejoin the team for their game in Oakland on Friday. …Alex Caruso, the summer league star who earned a two-way contract with the Lakers, will join the team for their two-game trip. He previously appeared in the first two games of the season, scoring two points in 18 combined minutes. In 16 games with the South Bay Lakers, Caruso has averaged 18.1 points and 7.6 assists. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Brook means a lot,” said rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who has started every game alongside Lopez. “He is big in the paint and he can space the offense, so we are definitely going to miss him and we will try our best without him.”Walton would not tip his hand as to who would start in place of Lopez, but veteran Andrew Bogut or rookie Kyle Kuzma, with Larry Nance Jr. sliding from power forward to center, would seem the likely choices.Julius Randle, who is playing some of the best basketball of his career, is also a candidate to start, but Walton has said he prefers a floor-spacing big man next to Nance, which could tip the balance to Kuzma, a 38 percent 3-point shooter.“It’s an ongoing discussion right now,” Walton said.Lopez has been reasonably durable throughout his 10-year career. He appeared in at least 70 games seven times in his career, but he does have a history of foot problems, missing most of the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons while with the Nets because of a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot. EL SEGUNDO — Already in the midst of the least productive season of his career, Brook Lopez will now be sidelined for at least three weeks after spraining his right ankle in Monday’s 116-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors.“He’s upset,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said following Friday’s practice. “(Lopez) said he didn’t sleep much last night. … It wasn’t the throbbing pain that was keeping him awake as much as he was just frustrated that he was hurt.”A 10th-year veteran acquired in the offseason trade that sent D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn, Lopez was injured while contesting a shot by Warriors star Kevin Durant. His right foot rolled and he was unable to put any weight on it as he was helped off the court.The Lakers characterized the sprain as “moderate” but said he would not even be reevaluated for three weeks.