Lakers News: Luke Walton, Lonzo Ball Agree Point Guard Was Rusty In Return To Practice
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After their preseason finale last week, the Los Angeles Lakers now have their sights set on their season opener Thursday, against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers received the unfortunate news that Andrew Bogut and Julius Randle are currently inactive for the opener, but also got encouraging news surrounding Lonzo Ball.

Ball sat out the majority of the preseason nursing an ankle sprain, one which the Lakers have been watching carefully. In fact, they didn’t want the point guard to risk re-aggravating it, so they kept him out of any contact drills in practice. Alas, the No. 2 overall pick practiced fully on Monday, as he attempts to gear up and prepare for Thursday’s showdown.

However, his return wasn’t exactly a return to triumph, as even the most skilled NBA players have to shake off their rust after not playing for a while. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Ball admittedly stated he had a lot of mistakes, but will be prepared for his regular season debut:

Although he didn’t have an ideal return, Ball still had to start somewhere, as he continues to get acclimated to once again playing at the NBA level. The increased workload and rise in competition mean that Ball will have to be as prepared as ever, to meet the hefty expectations the franchise has in store.

While the player attempts to find a rhythm, the coaching staff is responsible for carefully watching over the rookie to make sure he is prepared. Following Monday’s practice, Walton agreed with Ball’s sentiments, but was ecstatic to have his point guard back via Winters:

The Ball family has felt for quite some time that Lonzo was destined to play for the Lakers, as their vision has come to fruition. However, the 19-year-old still has a lot of rehabilitation and recovery exercises to do to be in proper shape.

He has never been one for excuses, always expressing a calm and composed demeanor when on the court. However, the Lakers will need him to produce in order for them to be competitive in his highly anticipated debut.

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