Let’s face it. All the hype that Lonzo Ball had coming into the league and all the noise surrounding him saying that he was going to perform at the best level. It got to Ball and he had a mediocre rookie year with the Lakers.
Los Angeles started out strong this past season but started kind of a downward trend heading into the final stretch of the regular season. Ball’s numbers dropped after the all-star break and the star of the dubbed Lake Show became Kyle Kuzma, the rookie out of Utah. Kuzma averaged 16 points and 6 boards this season.
Ball, on the other hand, averaged 10 points and 6 boards but also averaged 7 assists per game throughout the season. While Ball is known for his court vision and his ability to pass the ball and get open looks for his teammates, his scoring this season was lacking and at times, when the Lakers needed a player to step up, he would kind of shy away from the spotlight.
Los Angeles needs to help Ball with his movements around the court without the ball. One guy that Ball could try to emulate with this would be Stephen Curry. When Curry doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he’s still moving around quickly, setting screens and looking to create some space between himself and his defender. The Lakers could help Ball more by setting more off ball screens for him to get open and splash and a mid-range jumper or a three-pointer.
The Lakers core is intact heading into this next season, and with Ball and Kuzma doing private workouts, this offseason will only help transform Los Angeles into a contender. But, let’s face it, the west is stacked with talent from Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston to Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Oh yeah, and there’s that one team in Oakland, the Golden State Warriors who have not only a strong starting lineup but a stacked bench as well.
So, that’s a lot that the Lakers have to go up against, but if they can use Ball’s court vision more effectively and help him become a better scorer, Los Angeles could put itself back into the playoff picture.