Lonzo Ball’s highly anticipated debut with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League wasn’t picture perfect as the Lakers fell to the L.A. Clippers 96-93 in overtime Friday.
The No. 2 overall pick was in the starting lineup for the Lakers also showcasing his $500 purple and gold Zo 2 sneakers. From the moment the Lakers stepped on the court, it was all about developing chemistry between the two franchise players, Ball and Brandon Ingram.
Ball stamped his game immediately on the first possession with an alley-oop pass to Ingram.
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) July 8, 2017
Ball led college basketball last season in assists so it was known that he could facilitate the offense like his current boss and Lakers GM Magic Johnson. One note that Johnson made evident in the opening press conference was Ball’s athleticism and his basketball IQ.
Both abilities were shown with a putback in the first quarter for his first points as a Laker.
Lonzo Ball putback! pic.twitter.com/71pYzM8bMk
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) July 8, 2017
However, the one red flag for Ball other than his boisterous and marketing guru of a father LaVar was the unorthodox jumpshot. Ball brings the basketball from his hip across his chest and shoots from his ear. Questions about whether or not his shooting form needed to be tweaked loomed, but if it isn’t broke, why fix it? And Ball showed he can at least get the shot off.
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) July 8, 2017
One three-pointer. The only points Ball scored was off a three-pointer and the putback. He finished the afternoon shooting 2-for-15 from the field and 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.
When the game was sent into overtime after Ingram couldn’t hit the game-winning shot in regulation, he went down with a leg injury and was immediately pulled from the game leaving Ball in charge of the offense.
When the Lakers needed a three-pointer with less than a minute to go, Ball bricked one off the side of the rim only to secure the win for the Clippers.
It wasn’t the eyebrow-raising game the Lakers were hoping to get out of Ball, but the rookie PG led the team in assists (5) and collected 4 rebounds.
At the end of the day, it’s too early to judge Ball from one game. How many movies have a Hollywood opening?