The Los Angeles Lakers held their first training camp practice on Tuesday at their brand new practice facility, the UCLA Health Center, and head coach Luke Walton put a lot of emphasis on defense.
For Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, it was his first real NBA practice as the Lakers took him with the second overall pick out of UCLA.
At just 19 years of age Ball still has a long way to go in terms of his body maturing to play with the grown men in the NBA, and that was evident to him in Tuesday’s practice.
According to Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell, Ball put an emphasis on continuing to get stronger as he had difficulty trying to body up Julius Randle when driving to the basket:
Lonzo said he wants to keep getting stronger, and could tell why when trying to body up Julius Randle on a drive to the hoop.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 26, 2017
Despite him being just a rookie, the Lakers will depend heavily on Ball this season as their starting point guard and floor general.
While he is not yet known for his defensive ability, getting stronger will definitely help Ball on the defensive end of the floor, so he is taking the right steps towards getting to where he needs to be.
The strength may not yet be there for Ball, but his court vision is already among the best in the league so he should have the Lakers playing a completely different up-tempo brand of basketball this season. Getting out in transition depends on getting stops and rebounding on defense though, so it all starts on that end of the floor.