Given the lofty expectations, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is off to a slow start this season. While his rebounding and assist numbers have been good, Ball has been historically bad when it comes to shooting the basketball. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Ball's 29.5 field-goal percentage is the second lowest in the NBA shot clock era for a player with at least 100 field-goal attempts through his first 11 career games.
Yeah, it's not good.
But there is hope, as Ball's numbers areduring the early portion of his career. Kidd, however, says that's where the comparisons should end ... at least for now.
He appeared on ESPN's "First Take" on Thursday to address the similarities -- or lack thereof -- between him and Lonzo.
"It's still early in his career, and it's a stretch," Kidd said. "He has to understand what it means to play hard and what it means to win, and how to win at the highest level. It takes time, and hopefully in three years maybe there is a better comparison, but right now it is a stretch and he has a ways to go."
Sure, Lonzo might not ever become the player that Kidd was, but it's impossible to ignore the similarities in their statistics over their first 11 games. Kidd finished his rookie season averaging 11.7 points, 7.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds and won co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill. If Ball can figure out his shooting woes, those numbers certainly seem attainable by the end of his rookie year.
One big blow to the "similar statistics" argument, however, is the fact that the pace of Kidd's Mavericks team was significantly lower than Lonzo's Lakers team -- 94.7 to 103.3. Faster pace means more possessions per game, which means higher stats.
When you look past per-game stats and instead look at per-100 possessions, Kidd's numbers from his rookie season seem a bit more impressive.
Kidd vs. Ball Per 100 Possessions
Kidd (rookie season)
Ball (through 11 games)
Kidd is definitely right about Lonzo having a long way to go and needing to learn how to win, but those are things that every rookie, even Kidd, needed to learn as well. Nobody's saying that Ball will become the player that Kidd became, but the numbers are so similar that it's at least worth taking a look.