A mere 20 games into his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball’s rookie campaign has been under intense scrutiny. While he’s hardly been consistent, the attention and criticism is largely a byproduct of the Ball family’s endeavors off the court.
Ball has shown flashes of brilliance on the court, although it isn’t meeting the high standards the fan base and organization have placed on him. He nonetheless has gained the respect of various players around the league, including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, and most recently Kevin Durant.
Ball broke James’ record as the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, which served as a strong indication of his talent and ability to impact an game in a multitude of ways.
Before turning in another disappointing performance, Ball received praise from L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who sees significant potential in the young point guard, according to Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
Just more than a month into Ball’s career, Clippers coach Doc Rivers raved about the Lakers rookie, saying, “I don’t think he’s going to be good. He’s going to be great.”
The compliment from Rivers comes from a 13-year veteran at the point guard position. Through 20 games this season, the Ball is averaging 8.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Although his shooting percentages are rather low, the 20-year-old is still not even halfway through his first season against NBA talent. Ball has maintained confidence his shooting woes will turn as the season progresses.
That will be instrumental for the Lakers if they are to succeed through a difficult stretch in their schedule. They’ll spend much of December on the road and beginning Wednesday, face the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets in six of their next 15 games.
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