Following Saturday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, it was revealed that Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball was dealing with a calf injury. Ball went into the contest with a tightness in his left calf, and concluded it with tightness in both calves.
While the issue isn’t serious, it is something of a hindrance. But Ball still suited up for Sunday night’s contest against the Houston Rockets. Unfortunately for the rookie point guard, he turned in one of his worst performances of the season.
Ball finished with just two points, didn’t record a field goal, and managed just three assists, two blocks and one rebound in the Lakers’ 118-95 loss.
After the game, Ball described the discomfort he was dealing with. “It’s like I’ve got two knots in my calves right now,” he said. “Like two rocks every time I run and jump. You can play through it. It just hurts a little bit.”
Ball refused to use it as an excuse, however. “I went out there and played, so I’m not going to blame it on that. I just need to do better next time.”
Luckily for the 20-year-old, next time isn’t until Thursday for a rematch with the Philadelphia 76ers. That gives Ball some time to heal up and be at his best when the Lakers hit the road.
Head coach Luke Walton definitely believes that the injury affected Ball’s, but conceded had the game not gotten out of hand, it’s plausible Ball would’ve received more minutes.
“He didn’t seem to have that same bounce, that same push that he’s been giving us. If the game was closer I would’ve given him another chance down the stretch,” Walton said. “Where it was and with the calve stuff, it just felt right to keep him out.”
Ball’s play is extremely important to the success of the Lakers. The team thrives off his ability to push the ball in transition and they are at their best when they are getting stops and pushing the ball.
Ball is already struggling, so dealing with a nagging injury is the last thing he needs. The schedule won’t get any easier so he will need to figure it out on the fly as soon as possible.
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