Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton started implementing a penalty at practice for turnovers, as their average of 17.5 turnovers per game is the most in the league. Turning over the ball at practice now means suicides (sprinting drills), dished out based on how many turnovers a particular unit commits.
After all, during Sunday night’s loss to Houston, the Lakers 21 turnovers resulted in 27 points for the Rockets. Apparently, the new penalty worked for Lonzo Ball’s group, which ran just one suicide after practice.
As for Lonzo, the rookie says his calves were ‘getting there,’ when asked if he feels recovered from his calf tightness that he’s been dealing with for the past several days. Ball was able to participate in practice in full today.
Still, Lonzo didn’t use his calf tightness as an excuse for what he called a ‘bad’ individual performance against the Rockets.
Despite the ups and downs, Walton thinks Ball is doing a ‘much better job’ handling pressure and expectations than other rookies. Especially, when taking into consideration all of the off-court distractions with his family that he’s had to deal with as of late.
Walton on turnovers being the number one issue he’d like to see the Lakers fix on the upcoming roadtrip: “If I had the magic wand, that would be the one thing we could fix that would give us the best chance of getting a win.”
Walton on what measuring success means to him this season: “Success for us is how we compete, the effort that we give, mainly on the defensive end…Are we giving ourselves a chance to win with how hard we play? We can obviously break it down into smaller details of how many passes in a game did we have as far as the type of offense we want to play, but the main ones with us are consistent effort and mindset of being a good defensive team.”
Lonzo on his calves: “They’re getting there. Still a little tight, but we’re working on them. A lot of massages right now, a lot of heat. Icing it and compressing it, just trying to get the knots out.”
Lonzo on how he’s doing mentally: “Just trying to stay positive and figure out a way to turn things around.”
Kyle Kuzma on the Lakers biggest issues: “We turn the ball over too much, we’re missing free throws, and we’ve got to get back to our defensive identity.”
Kuzma on his mentality on the road: “It’s going to be 15 of us versus 15,000.”
– Walton says the coaching staff is always there for Lonzo if he wants to talk, but says Ball hasn’t really opened up with them about any of the off-court stuff he’s dealing with.
– Walton isn’t concerned with the turnovers that come from his players trying to make the extra pass, it’s all the turnovers in transition that he has an issue with
– Walton still thinks the Lakers are further ahead than he thought they would be at this point in the season
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope practiced in full (there was some concern during the last game that he might’ve rolled an ankle, but he’s fine).
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