Lonzo Ball compensates poor shooting with leadership, playmaking against Celtics

By in Press Enterprise on July 9, 2017

By Mark Medina

LAS VEGAS –The first shot splashed into the basket, seemingly restoring order to any of the worried Lakers fans that fretted over Lonzo Ball’s shooting in his first Summer League game. Ball’s subsequent misses may have just added to the anxiety.

In the Lakers’ 86-81 loss to the hated Boston Celtics on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center, Ball posted 11 points in 5-of-13 shooting and 1-of-5 from 3-point range. Just like in his summer-league debut on Friday against the Clippers, however, Ball offered promising signs in almost everything else in his game with a triple double.

Ball grabbed 11 rebounds, logged eight assists and inspired his teammates to play with the kind of ball movement that Lakers coach Luke Walton had preached during his first season. Ball said he “definitely felt better” after spending his Saturday at the a local high school on his shooting, something he considered part of his “normal” routine at UCLA. Still, Ball was more consumed with a different note in the box score.

“Better game, but we didn’t get the win” Ball said. “That’s all we care about. Until we get the win, I won’t be happy.”

That should sound endearing to the Lakers (0-2) after publicly admitting the want to win the Summer League championship. They already became encouraged with Ball’s play itself even if most of his shot have not gone into the basket.

“He does such a great job in facilitating and in constantly pushing the ball,” Walton said on Saturday at halftime. “The more his teammates get used to playing with him, the better looks we’ll get.”

Ball’s teammates received plenty of good looks. That contributed to Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma finishing with a team-leading 31 points while shooting 12 of 26 from the field and 5 of 10 from 3-point range. Lakers second-year guard […]    

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