The Los Angeles Lakers took the court for the first time on Sunday night in their preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets. Even in a loss, there were plenty of promising moments, but unfortunately, second-year point guard Lonzo Ball did not play.
Ball, who had offseason surgery to deal with his nagging knee issues from last season, only recently was cleared for full-contact in practice, so the Lakers are playing it safe. That hasn’t stopped him from impressing already, at least as far as president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is concerned.
During the Spectrum SportsNet broadcast of the preseason opener, Johnson offered a glowing review of how Ball has played in practice:
“I want the fans to know this: Lonzo Ball is looking good right now. The last two practices, he is looking outstanding. I tell you, we get him at point, we get Rondo at point, wow. This team is going to be awesome. And then LeBron James, of course. … I’m excited, and Laker fans should be excited.”
That is certainly reason for fans to be excited as Ball’s progression into his second year could have a major impact on this Lakers team. The first preseason game showed the potential of the Lakers with all of their playmakers, and adding Ball will only help that further.
Additionally, he will also help on the defensive end which was a struggle for the Lakers, as is to be expected. Nonetheless, Ball’s size, length, and IQ will help the Lakers take a step in the right direction on that end of the floor just as much as offensively.
Whenever he returns, the young point guard will be a welcomed back part of the team either taking over the starting role or coming off the bench and leading the second unit. The development he has made this offseason will be on full display, which Johnson and the rest of the Lakers fans will have even more reason to be excited.
Though, the wait to see Ball on the court will extend beyond Tuesday, as he was already ruled out for the game.