Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, one major concern for the Los Angeles Lakers is not necessarily whether Lonzo Ball will improve his shooting form and percentages, but his durability.
After missing 30 games during his rookie season, Ball underwent left knee surgery and was expected to be ready by the start of training camp. Unfortunately, head coach Luke Walton revealed his point guard will not be able to participate in five-on-five scrimmages just yet.
As the Lakers struggled without Ball, they signed numerous playmakers in free agency in hopes of maintaining their style of play if he does indeed miss more games.
Since the Lakers have been extremely cautious with injuries, Walton explained why the team will continue to protect against rushing Ball back on “Connected With…Luke Walton,” via Spectrum SportsNet:
“A player of his ability and how much he’s going to be a part of our future, the conversation is, ‘Take as much time as we need to make sure that he’s healthy.’ We don’t rush him back at all, and then we’ll bring him along as he reacts to how he does with that contact.”
Since Walton views Ball as a part of the team’s future, it is important to think about his long-term health. While it may be a frustrating process, Ball does need to be relatively healthy if the Lakers want to make a deep playoff run.
In comparison to his rookie season, there will likely be less pressure on Ball to initiate the offense or create for his teammates. With LeBron James and Rajon Rondo in the mix now, he can focus on other aspects of his game, highlighted by an improved shooting form during the offseason.