Even with a win that snapped a nine-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of, by far, their worst stretch of the season. Some of that was tied to Lonzo Ball nursing a left shoulder sprain that caused him to miss six games.
The Lakers thus far have split the two games he’s played in since returning, but remain at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. What was once shaping to be an encouraging season no longer appears to be as much.
Furthermore, the Lakers won’t have a draft pick to show for however many losses they ultimately end up with. For the rookies, the season is largely unlikely any other they’ve experienced in their playing career.
But to Ball, it’s not necessarily a surprise. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft explained to Kevin Ding of Lakers.com that he knew this would be a tough year:
“Coming in, I knew it was going to be difficult,” Ball said. “We have a new team. We’re trying to start things all over and refresh the organization. So I knew it was going to be hard.”
Things have been hard not only for the team, but for Lonzo individually as well. His shooting to start the season was some of the worst in the history of the NBA. He has also struggled to deal with the physicality as well as finishing in the paint.
Just before his injury, Ball began to turn things around. That’s continued in his two games back, as he’s scored a combined 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out 11 assists.
Ball, however, is all about the team and getting wins. All season long he has preached that the only thing that matters is coming up with the win and that has been a struggle for the Lakers as of late. Hopefully his return will ultimately help the team begin to right the ship.
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