The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 2-3 on the season Friday night as they couldn’t hold onto a 17-point lead, ultimately falling to the Toronto Raptors 102-99 at Staples Center.
Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball continued to struggle with his shot, as he scored just five points on 2-of-7 shooting, making just one of his four three-point attempts.
Despite his shooting struggles, Ball continues to impact the game in other ways as he contributed seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in 32 minutes.
After the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton commented on Ball’s shooting slump, saying he is not concerned and wants him to keep shooting, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Walton says he's not concerned with Lonzo's shooting after 5 games. Wants him to keep shooting, he makes a lot in practice
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) October 28, 2017
Overall on the season through five games Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.4 assists while shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range.
While his shooting percentages are low enough to warrant some concern, it is only five games and Ball shot well in his one season at UCLA, so it’s probably too early to label the rookie as a bad shooter. Ball knocking down outside shots will do wonders for his overall game though as defenders will not be able to sag off him and go under screens to play the pass.
Ball and the Lakers will not have much time to think about Friday night’s loss as they return to the court Saturday night, facing another playoff caliber team in the Utah Jazz.