Even though the Los Angeles Lakers have looked better in recent weeks, the team undoubtedly would like to see rookie point guard Lonzo Ball return sooner rather than later. Ball is the catalyst for the Lakers’ offense and makes all of his teammates better.
He has missed the last seven games due to a sprained MCL, and there is diminishing hope that he will return during this current road trip. Ball has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic.
As he continues to recover from an MCL sprain, Julius Randle is among those anxiously awaiting Ball’s return. According to Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group, Randle said that Lonzo’s return to the Lakers will help a lot and explained why:
“It will help a lot,” Julius Randle said. “Just his unselfishness, pushing the pace, ball movement. All that is contagious. So it will help a lot.”
Lonzo is at his best in transition, pushing the ball up the floor and helping his teammates get easy baskets. Everyone on the team benefits from his presence, and as Randle pointed out, his passing is contagious and rubs off on the rest of the team.
The Lakers have times when they rely too much on isolation as opposed to ball movement and Lonzo helps that out with his outstanding court vision. Ball also plays a big role on defense as he is excellent seeing things off the ball, coming up with weakside steals and blocks.
Hopefully he will be able to return soon not only to help the Lakers, but for himself as he is missing out on valuable development time. He was beginning to turn the corner before his injury and keeping up that level of play will be important upon his return.
The team won’t rush Lonzo back however, as his health long-term is far more important than a short-term boost. He is the team’s point guard of the future and the Lakers won’t risk that.
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