The Los Angeles Lakers No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball’s first two career games were on the opposite ends of the spectrum, as he followed up a three-point performance in the season-opener with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second game.
He took the court again Sunday night looking to build off that performance, as the Lakers hosted the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ball once against just missed a triple-double with eight points, eight rebounds and 13 assists, which is one assist shy of Norm Nixon’s Lakers rookie record.
He shot just 3-of-13 from the field and 0-of-5 from three-point range, though, as he was getting open looks but the shots were just not falling and the Lakers comeback attempt fell short as they lost 119-112 despite erasing a 22-point deficit.
Despite the rough shooting night, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he was happy with the aggressiveness his point guard showed Sunday night, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Walton: “I liked Lonzo’s aggression, he just didn’t make shots (like he did in Phoenix).” Liked how he still ran offense, found teammates.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 23, 2017
Overall in the three games he’s played so far Ball is averaging 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists, although he’s shooting just 34.8 percent from the field.
The more aggressive Ball is looking to score, the less defensive players will be able to sag off of him, which will play into Ball’s favor as he ultimately wants to pass to his open teammates.
While the Lakers big run Sunday night came with Ball on the bench, his presence was still felt as guys were playing unselfish basketball, finding the open shooter, which wasn’t the case for the majority of last season.