Lonzo Ball has been ice cold, but Lakers hope he turns it around on the road
By Bill Oram
EL SEGUNDO — To prepare for the unknown, Lonzo Ball bought a suitcase. He will throw in three sweatsuits and hope that’s good enough for the frigid climates in Boston, Washington and Milwaukee.
“I don’t have very (much) cold attire,” Ball said. “I’m from out here.”
For his first multi-game trip, Ball is kind of winging it. The Lakers don’t give their rookies a checklist for what to pack on a long trip.
“We trust that they can pack,” Walton said, “but we also expect them to make some mistakes and then they’ll learn from those mistakes.”
Add life on the road to the list of things the Lakers seem content to let Ball figure out on his own.
That list already includes Ball’s poor shooting. The star rookie’s season shooting percentage dipped below 30 percent after he made just 3 of 13 shots in Sunday’s 107-102 win over Memphis. At 29.9 percent from the floor he ranks last among 19 qualified rookies, while Kuzma’s 56.3 percent leads the field.
Against the Grizzlies, Ball made only one of his eight 3-point attempts and through 10 games is just 11 of 47 from deep.
The surprising Lakers (5-5) have won three of their last four games, but in that span Ball has made just 2 of 15 3-point attempts. The No. 2 pick in June’s draft has always been billed as a pass-first playmaker, but the Lakers can’t afford for Ball to be pass-only.
“He’s been a little down on himself a little bit with the season he’s having,” fellow rookie starter Kyle Kuzma said. “Of course he wants to play a lot better. I just try to tell him to be more aggressive on the floor. … Once he’s confident in his game he’s pretty hard to guard.”
Walton has repeatedly insisted that the Lakers will not try to […]