Lonzo Ball has officially gotten his feet wet. With two games under his belt, fans across the world are getting a glimpse of what he has to offer.
Ball is an unselfish point guard who thrives in an offensive system that likes to get out and run on the break. Lonzo is at his best when then action around him is chaotic. The ball will never come to a stop when it reaches his hands, and Lonzo will look to set up others before he creates for himself.
During his first summer league action against the Los Angeles Clippers, Ball put up 5 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Many critics were quick to point out that Lonzo struggled from three-point line. Missing ten three’s in your first taste of NBA action isn’t ideal, but most of them were wide-open looks and shots that Lonzo will need to continue to take going forward.
Looking to bounce back in his second game, Lonzo was able to do just that. Ball looked comfortable and in control all night, proving to many why he was selected #2 overall. He was able to record a triple double, and also led the Lakers in both rebounding and assists.
Ball looked more comfortable tonight in the pick-and-roll attacking the rim and either passing it to an open man or laying it up.
These pick and roll situations will come easier to Lonzo with more game action and also the addition of Brook Lopez when the regular season rolls around. From the first two games, it is easy to see that Ball would rather pass then score. When surrounded with more talent, expect Ball’s game to open up even more.
The most encouraging parts about his game so far have been his assist and rebounding numbers. With 11 assists and 11 rebounds tonight, Ball has shown he will get his teammates involved and also crash the paint after a missed shot. Seeing a point guard attack the glass for a rebound means that the player is willing to make the winning plays, and so far Lonzo has stepped up to the plate.
Once that ball finds Lonzo off of a missed shot, he immediately looks to push the ball up the court. Very rarely do you see a point guard so willing to get the ball out of his hands that early into the shot clock. Ball was able to find David Nwaba cutting to the basket many times against the Celtics while barely being across half-court himself.
Even though the Lakers have lost both of their games so far this summer league, Lonzo was a +6 while being on the court tonight.
Summer league games in the grand scheme of things aren’t judged by wins and losses. GM’s and coaching staffs will judge players based on their production and how they look on the court. For most of his time on the court, Ball has looked engaged on both sides of the court and also put up a great stat line in his second game of action.
Once Ball gets familiar with running half-court sets in the NBA and adapting to the distance of the three-point shot, the sky is the limit for him. He has already shown he can fill up a stat sheet, and has shown flashes of being an average defender. Ball has quick hands on defense and looked more comfortable during his second game with staying in front on defense.
Ball’s next test this summer league will come against De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. Lonzo will look to bounce back against the Kentucky point guard who ended his tournament run early at UCLA.