Lonzo: Ball is life
De’Aaron Fox seems to be the talk of NBA twitter this year. Last year he was a top half lottery pick but wasn’t all that impressive, but this year the 21 year old point guard is helping leading his team to a potential playoff run after being one of the worst teams in the league. That sentence also applies to the infamous Lonzo Ball, who seems to have made more fame on Facebook Live and on First Take with his Dad, than on the court.
That’s all changing this year.
This year Lonzo is balling. The Lakers have found their winning way (I know, I know, they have the best player in the world), Lonzo’s instagram comments are popping, and him and LeBron just messed around and got triple doubles in the same game.
The second year guard’s on court play style couldn’t be further from his dads personality. He’s passive, unselfish, even literally walked away from a fight involving Ingram and CP3. In fact, LeBron has come out and said he wants his fellow showtime teammate to be “Ultra-Aggressive”. Shoot more, drive more, get in peoples faces more.
While his three point shot isn’t deadly, I expect him to be similar to John Wall or Eric Bledsoe from behind the arc. Zo is connecting on his threes at a same percentage as the Devin Booker, who not only won, but set the record for the three point contest last year. If Ball can raise his current 32% percentage from three to around 34% - 35% it will make a huge impact to the Lakers on the offensive end.
Imagine a world where defenders pay attention to Lonzo on the perimeter giving his teammates more space. He executes a flawless pass to whichever superstar LeBron has convinced to wear the purple and gold. Staples Center is erupting.
But Zo doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. He seems to have a hyper awareness of spacing. Being a floor general without the ball, telling teammates like Kuzma to slide over so that LeBron’s driving lane is wider and Kuzma is set up for an open three. Lonzo is even aware that LeBron is going to be a primary ball handler and it’s easy to just sit back and let him cook.
“When you play with LeBron you have to make sure to keep playing because he’s easy to just watch with some of the stuff he does”
The oldest Ball brother has already shown his defensive tenacity as well. He has three different games this year with 5 steals each. Over the first 27 games of the season he locked down opposing point guards, letting opponents shoot just 32% from the field.
Lonzo may never be the best player on a championship team. Shoot, he may never be the second best, but for a 21 year old he is incredibly smart. Maybe, just maybe, LaVar was right all along.
Oh and one more thing……
Lonzo, if your reading this, please go through the layup line a few extra times for me. Your incredible at leading the fast break but I just cant watch you botch another wide open layup.
Make sure to listen to Kyle on 48 Minutes: Shot Callers podcast every Monday with Ben Brown. Follow Kyle on twitter @Goodluckkyle.