Lonzo Ball Leads Los Angeles Lakers Into The Future
Lonzo Ball Could Be The Lakers' Superstar
Early indications suggest that the Los Angeles Lakers have found their court general of the future, while Ball has landed exactly where he wants to play: on the biggest stage possible.
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The Ball Family Circus Has Arrived
Fortunately, LaVar Ball’s unorthodox marketing campaign hasn’t detracted from Lonzo’s debut, allowing the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft to excel on the court.
Laker nation showed up in droves throughout the Summer League series, following the Ball closely from game to game. After a disappointing opener to start, Lonzo ditched the Big Baller Brand shoes for a pair of Kobes, and the rest of the tournament went swimmingly.
He dominated stretches of the Summer League, averaging 16.3 PPG, 9.3 APG and 7.7 RPG. Ball became the first player to record a triple double for the Las Vegas league since 2008, scoring 11 points, 11 assists and 11 boards against the Celtics in a July 8th matchup.
Lonzo notched his second triple double of the competition five days later against the Cavaliers, dropping 16 points, dishing 11 dimes and ripping 11 rebounds.
While some curmudgeons fretted about Summer League results, most observers agreed with Lonzo Ball earning the Most Valuable Player award for the 2017 NBA Summer League. The eye test showed that the entire team was lifted by Lonzo’s unselfish, creative, and dominant court vision. Ball zipped the ball around the court with efficiency, leveraging small advantages into easy buckets throughout the competition.
Lonzo Ball Could Have It All
Lonzo first started earning attention in high school as a point guard, averaging a triple double as a senior. As per MaxPreps, Lonzo lead his Chino Hill High School team with 23.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 11.5 APG during 35 games. As a top prospect in the NCAA, Ball joined UCLA and finished with 14.6 PPG, 7.6 APG and 6.0 RPG in 36 games.
As a 6’6” guard with a superb basketball IQ and slick handles, his game is reminiscent of Rajon Rondo, with a dash of Russell Westbrook thrown in the mix.
Make no mistake: Ball does not possess the explosiveness of Westbrook or the same passing genius as Rondo. Lonzo must develop and polish the rough aspects of his game to earn the mantle of the next, great triple double threat in the association.
Similar to most prospects entering the NBA, Ball will need to refine his shooting skills, especially at the free throw line. As expected, Lonzo shot only 38.2% from the field over six Summer League games. During his one-and-done with UCLA, Ball shot 67.3% from the charity stripe, which is well below expected efficiency for a point guard.
Defensive schemes in the NBA are merciless against bad shooters. If Lonzo can’t turn his herky-jerky delivery into a serviceable jump shot, teams will dare Ball to beat them with his broken jumper, shutting driving and passing lanes in the process. This scenario greatly reduces the effectiveness of his passing game, making the development of his three-point shot and foul shooting a top priority.
Lonzo Leads The Lakers Into The Future
In brief, if Ball develops an above average jump shot over the next few years, the Lakers will have a superstar point guard to guide them for the next decade.
Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle - even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - will all benefit from Lonzo's ability to share the basketball.
The combination of these young talents, and the Lakers ability to attract top free agents, should create a winning combination that returns this legendary franchise back to the NBA playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers fans have patiently waited for the post-Kobe rebuild, and feverishly cheered Ball as he tore through the Summer League with a combination of deft touch passes and court-length breakout bombs. Nonetheless, the patience of Laker nation remains fickle at best, so Ball needs to take advantage of an auspicious beginning to make the most of his considerable potential.
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