Lonnie Walker IV credits teammates for instilling confidence in him

Lonnie Walker IV is proving to be an underrated offseason signing who found success in his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers used their mid-level taxpayer exemption to sign Walker in the summer. Many found the move unconvincing as other teams struck MLE deals with the likes of Danilo Gallinari, Donte DiVincenzo, John Wall and Bruce Brown.

But Walker proves his doubters wrong, averaging 16.6 points and 1.0 steals per game (both career highs) in addition to 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. As the Lakers have come out of their shooting weakness earlier in the season, the former San Antonio Spurs prospect has also shot 51.5% for 3 on 4.7 3-point attempts per game in the last six games.

Walker says he’s been feeling “confident” on offense, adding that his Purple and Gold teammates deserve credit for his good form lately. “When you have great teammates who continue to give you that confidence and allow you to be aggressive, it just makes the game easier,” the 23-year-old shooting guard said.

“And when you have three Hall of Famers, two Hall of Famers who are playing with us at the moment – like I said before the season started, it’s all about putting down the easy open shots. So I’m just playing my game.

“I think the world is finally realizing what I’m capable of. I just do what I do best.”

Three of the Lakers’ next four games will be played against the Spurs. However, Walker says his mindset won’t change in matchups against his former team.

“As if we’ve handled it all — one game at a time, one step at a time and keep piling up your days,” the guard says when asked how he’ll handle facing San Antonio for the first time.

“Every day we have to make the best of our opportunities and continue to grow. We want to get above .500.”

Austin Reaves says faith runs high in Lakers dressing room

Walker doesn’t appear to be the only Laker feeling confident after winning back-to-back games, even if LA still holds a poor 4-10 record. Austin Reaves has said that Purple and Gold believe in their abilities, especially as the team appears to be coming together after a difficult first month of the 2022-23 season.

“As I’ve said many times, you know, we’re a whole new team to each other,” Reaves says. “So it’s going to take a bit of getting used to playing together.

“But yes, faith is high. I mean, you see tonight we score the ball, you see six in the double digits. There are a lot of people on the team who can win us basketball games.”

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