The Los Angeles Lakers had a great start to their second preseason game against the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there and they ultimately fell 113-107.
Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball had a decent outing, finishing with eight points and four assists, but did not finish the game. Late in the second quarter, Ball suffered what the Lakers are calling a mild left ankle sprain while blocking Emmanuel Mudiay’s layup attempt.
Ball came back out to start the second half, but checked out midway through the third quarter and didn’t return. The Lakers were likely playing it cautiously with Ball since it’s preseason, but after the game Ball said that he plans on playing in the Lakers’ next game according to Bill Oram of the OC Register:
Lonzo Ball: "If I can play I'm going to play." Will meet with training staff tomorrow to determine whether he'll practice Tuesday.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) October 3, 2017
Unfortunately for Ball and the Lakers, the next game is only two days away against this same Nuggets team so it doesn’t give Ball much time to treat his ankle. It is very possible the Lakers hold Ball out to give him time to rest and ensure he’ll be 100 percent once the regular season starts.
The Lakers and Luke Walton have a lot riding on Ball as the team’s uptempo offense is built around his strengths in transition and as a passer. The Lakers must do everything possible to make sure he is ready for the regular season opener.
If Ball does sit out, it will give Walton a chance to check out some of the other guards on the team. Tyler Ennis would likely get the start, but players like Alex Caruso, Vander Blue, and Briante Weber could all get a chance to show what they can do.