To begin the 2018-19 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton started Rajon Rondo over Lonzo Ball, who was recovering from offseason knee surgery.
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However, just two games into the season against the Houston Rockets, Rondo had an altercation with Chris Paul which resulted in a three-game suspension.
Since then, Ball has started and the Lakers have won two out of their last three games against the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.
While Rondo will return against the San Antonio Spurs, he will not regain his starting job, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers will keep Lonzo Ball in the starting lineup Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs when Rajon Rondo returns to the team after serving a three-game suspension, sources told ESPN.
As Ball has been getting into game shape with no setbacks, he has made the most of this current opportunity and is being rewarded by Walton.
Through five games, the 21-year-old is averaging 11.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. More importantly, he is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from the three-point line.
With Ball taking the next step in his development during his sophomore season, Walton described him as a ‘big-time game changer.’