Let’s get one thing straight, Lonzo Ball was built for this. The 6 foot 6 inch guard from UCLA is ready to take the NBA by storm next year. He will likely be doing this for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he has been destined to play for since he was able to dribble a ball. The Boston Celtics will one day regret the day that passed on this exceptional talent.
Lonzo Ball has been a winner everywhere he went. He led Chino Hills High School to a 35-0 record which resulted in a State and National title. What made it even more impressive was the fact that he averaged a triple double doing it, averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. His speed and up-tempo style of play was a mismatch for any person and team trying to guard him which led to many of his games resulting in blowouts. Ball was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball USA to finish off his amazing high school career.
Ball has always had his sights set on the city of Los Angeles, which led to him signing his letter of intent with UCLA. The UCLA Bruins had a tough season the year before Ball arrived on campus, going 15-17 which is only their fourth losing record since 1948. Steve Alford knew Lonzo Ball was coming to UCLA the following year, so he completely changed his style of play to suit the once in a lifetime point guard. The impact Lonzo had on this team was tremendous right away. In his first game as a college athlete, Ball put up 19 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds and helped UCLA score 119 points in a college game which is incredible.
He ended up leading his UCLA Bruins to a 31-5 record, an improvement of 16 wins from the year before. He was able to average 14 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds throughout his very impressive freshman year and he also led the NCAA in assists per game. Lonzo was the only freshmen to be a finalist in the three major college award categories (Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, and Oscar Robertson Trophy). Ball was also named to the first team All-Pac-12 and beat out Markelle Fultz for the Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year. After UCLA lost to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen, Lonzo Ball declared for the NBA draft. Now that the stats and accolades are out of the way, here is a more in depth look as to why Lonzo is such a mesmerizing player.
Ability to Make Plays in Transition
Ball’s uptempo style of play is a marvel to watch. The way in which he is able to push the ball in transition and make plays for others has many NBA scouts comparing that aspect of his game to Magic Johnson.
This play is just one of many that shows just how much speed he can play with while being in complete control of his body and also viewing the whole floor and setting up his teammate with the alley-oop. Since he has a big body, he is able to grab the rebound off a missed shot in which he will immediately look up to try and get some easy transition points. Since the NBA is now played at a much faster pace, this boosts Lonzo’s value to every NBA team that is looking for a point guard that will have them running and gunning. UCLA was able to lead the league in points and assists per game because of this freshman phenom.
This type of court vision and passing ability should not be gifted to a man who is only 19 years old. The IQ and unselfishness to make this play is what truly sets Lonzo Ball apart from everybody else. In the play above, you see 2 players rush to Lonzo to make sure he will not shoot the three, and Lonzo makes a difficult pass look so easy. He was able to read the double team coming his way, find the open man cutting to the basket and drop a beautiful pass to his teammate for the dunk.
Ability to Shoot From Deep
Make fun of Ball’s shooting form all you want, he can flat out shoot the ball from deep. Lonzo shot 41.2% from during his fantastic freshmen year, so look for him to be able to continue that type of sharpshooting in the NBA.
Ball can light it up from deep in either a catch and shoot type situation or from the dribble. That is how talented this kid is and why his sky is the limit. Ball is also not shy from taking the game clinching shot as shown above and will come through in clutch situations.
Potential Fit with the Los Angeles Lakers
When taking a look at the young core that the Lakers have with D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, it is easy to see where Lonzo Ball will fit in with them. Lonzo Ball would be able to be the playmaking the point guard that the Los Angeles Lakers so desperately need. Russell would slide over to the shooting guard position, and Ball would feed him in transition for three and could easily become the next version of the Splash Brothers. The more intriguing situation would be how Ball would be able to set Brandom Ingram up on offense. Ingram’s speed, height and athleticism could have the Lakers reminiscing of their Showtime days when Magic would feed James worthy in transition. Lonzo Ball would have an immediate impact on the Lakers team, and he would help them improve in there win totals and have them creeping towards playoffs. Keep an eye for the BigBallerBrand’s superstar, he was built for this league and he is going to take over.