Just as suddenly as training camp began for the Los Angeles Lakers, their preseason opener is right around the corner as well. Luke Walton’s team will get only four days of practice before facing off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
This game will mark the first time rookie point guard Lonzo Ball will suit up in his official Lakers jersey against another team. He is already standing out in training camp with his vision and leadership and he will soon be able to see how he stacks up against NBA competition.
Ball’s personality has also stood out as he always seems calm and the moment never seems to be too much for him. Some might think he would be a little nervous before his first preseason game, but he claimed that wasn’t the case:
“I just want to get out there and play,” Ball said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s kind of the start of everything. It’s the first time we’re all together and competing against somebody else.”
Ball will be facing a tough test in the Timberwolves for his first action. Point guard Jeff Teague is extremely quick, and their wing combination of Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins is one of the best defensive duos in the league. All will likely see some time on Ball at different points in the game.
The ball will be in his hands plenty as Walton has made the Lakers big men look to give the ball up to the guards instead of dribbling up themselves.
With only a few practices under his belt, it would be unwise to expect Ball to dominate in his first preseason game. Nonetheless, it is great to see that he is ready to get on the court and get to work as the Lakers kick off the preseason.
*Quotes compiled by Matthew Moreno and Serena Winters at Lakers practice