Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball made his long-awaited return on Friday night as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 124-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
While his performance was overshadowed by Julius Randle’s triple-double, Lonzo had a solid performance with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in just 17 minutes. But the numbers didn’t matter to Ball.
“It felt good just being back on the court and doing what I love to do. I’m just happy to be back,” he said after the win.
Ball added that his knee was fine, but did admit to feeling some discomfort during the game. “Nothing restricting. I can feel it, but the doctors said it won’t get any worse, so that’s why I’m back,” Ball explained.
Because there still is some minor pain, the Lakers are bringing Ball back slowly, as he won’t play on back-to-backs.
This means Ball will miss Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings which he has accepted, even though he wishes he could suit up. “I want to play every time I can if I feel like I can play,” Ball said. “But I can’t step on anybody’s toes right now.”
The most important thing for the Lakers franchise is making sure he stays healthy for the remainder of the season and can continue to grow and develop with the rest of the young Lakers. Ball’s presence is extremely important to the team as he makes everyone better.
It will take some time for him to get back to his level of play and he admitted that his timing was off in his return to the court, but that will only improve the more he plays. The fact that he is finally back on the court is nothing but a good thing for he and the Lakers.
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