Lakers' Lonzo Ball bounces back with triple-double in second Summer League game
After a dreadful start to his NBA career, Lonzo looked more like the player the Lakers expected
So ... maybe this Lonzo Ball kid will be decent after all.
Ball finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Lakers fell to 0-2 in Las Vegas, and scored his final points of the night on a coast-to-coast transition dunk (aided by some non-existent Celtics defense).
Here are a few takeaways from Ball's bounce-back performance.
Now that's more like it
Ball was as advertised in his second game, pushing the tempo from the start and pulling off some nifty passes. He had a couple no-look dump-offs for layups in the first half, and sent the sell-out crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center into a frenzy with a one-handed bounce pass to Kyle Kuzma from well behind the 3-point line.
Ball's playmaking didn't appear to suffer despite the absence of Brandon Ingram, who played brilliantly in the Lakers' loss on Friday. Ball managed to elevate his teammates, which is what the Lakers brought him in to do.
Ice cold in scorching Vegas
It may be 112 degrees in Las Vegas, but Ball remains frigid from deep. While he was much better overall, he continued to struggle from beyond the 3-point line. He was only 1 of 5 from beyond the arc Saturday, bringing his Summer League total to a cringe-worthy 2 of 16, or 12.5 percent. That's a far cry from the 41 percent he shot in his one season at UCLA. Ball said he went to a local high school gym on Saturday morning to get some extra shots up, but the added practice didn't show on the court.
One noticeable improvement: Ball didn't force things. He was clearly frustrated Friday, which led to him hoisting more and more 3-pointers. This time around Ball passed up some open looks to get his teammates involved, knowing that he's not shooting it well from distance right now.
Rare criticism from LaVar?
Ah yes, another Lonzo Ball game means another LaVar Ball interview. During the game LaVar Ball took aim at Lakers president Magic Johnson, saying. LaVar Ball was much less congratulatory after his son's triple-double, saying it means nothing because the team lost.
"Point guards ain't judged on stats, they're judged on victories," LaVar Ball said.
Ball vs. Fox, Part III
It was fun to see Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall draft pick, take on No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum, but because of the positional difference they didn't guard each other often. On Monday, however, Ball will go head-to-head with a fellow lottery pick -- No. 5 overall pick De'Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. Lonzo Ball's UCLA Bruins beat Fox's Kentucky Wildcats in their first showdown last season, but it was Fox's thorough dominance of Ball in their Sweet 16 matchup that is fresh in people's minds.
Fox scored a career-high 39 points while limiting Ball to 10 points and four turnovers as Kentucky sent Ball and UCLA packing with an 86-75 win. Fox later said thatClearly that did not work, but it will be interesting to see if Lonzo Ball comes out with a little more fire Monday night.
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