Watch: Things Get Chippy Between Book And KCP

The Los Angeles Lakers played against the Phoenix Suns, and things got a little messy. Lakers players got engaged in a grind-it-out affair against the Suns. The second quarter of the game was… awkward. Suns star Devin Booker lost his balance, so he decided to grab Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s ankle. The Lakers guard fell. The Suns player was assessed a common foul after the fall. Will Book and KCP get involved in something similar?

In the past few years, the University of Kentucky player has become one of the best young stars in the NBA. He did an excellent job in the eight seeding games inside the NBA bubble in Orlando. NBA analysts took notice of his great game and recognized his great potential.

Booker will replace Lakers big man Anthony Davis in the All-Star games.

Book and KCP motivated each other

When it comes to Caldwell-Pope, he was dealing with some shooting issues in the past few games.

In his first 10 games of the regular season, Caldwell-Pope was averaging 10.7 points per game on 53.5% shooting from the field and 55.3% shooting from behind the arc. He is one of the eight players averaging at least 10 points on 50% shooting from the field and at least 50% shooting from behind the arc. Of these players, KCP had the highest plus-minus.

These numbers were supposed to decline as most experts predicted. KCP was great against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 21 and shot 35.4% from the field and 25.8% from behind the arc since the 10-game stretch. It looks like his confidence has disappeared.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is not concerned about the veteran. “He’s getting a lot more attention,” Vogel said.

“He came out of the gates so hot that there’s just an emphasis on the game plan that you’ve got to know where he is. I just think he’s not getting open as much. So when the ball swings to him, he maybe hasn’t touched it in a while, or maybe guys are flying at him with greater urgency than they were early in the season,” Vogel said. “To me, it’s nothing to do with how well he’s shooting it, he’s just getting greater defensive attention, and that’s his job. To draw that attention and open things up for everybody else.”