After offseason knee surgery, Lonzo Ball has worked his way back and is playing extremely well for the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Through the first five games of the 2018-19 NBA season, Ball is averaging 11.8 points (48.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent from the three-point line), 5.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 26.8 minutes.
While Ball did not get off to a good start against the Denver Nuggets, a key play in the second quarter against Jamal Murray turned it around for him. “His instincts for the game, when he’s aggressive and active, he changes games,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
“I told him in front of the whole team, I thought he was kind of out there but not really involved. Then he started picking up Murray full court and he turned him over one time and laid it up. I thought that got him and our team going a little bit.
“From that point on, on defense, he was causing havoc. Getting his hands on balls, reading plays, coming in and rebounding. He’s a big-time game-changer for us when he’s playing aggressive like that.”
While much the attention remains on Ball’s shooting, his defense and court vision are elite. As point guard is the most difficult position in the game today, the 20-year-old has held his own and is showing more confidence with each and every game.
With Rajon Rondo returning against the San Antonio Spurs after a three-game suspension, it will be interesting to see if Ball remains the team’s starting point guard. Considering how Ball and James are developing chemistry, it would make sense in the short- and long-term.