Ball encouragingly took the floor for the second time in three nights, seemingly corroborating the readiness of his knee for the regular season. The 2018 second overall pick upped his minute total by one over that of his preseason debut Wednesday, although he was less sharp with his shot than in that contest. With a pair of exhibitions under his belt, Ball shouldn't have too much of a minutes cap -- if any -- when the Lakers open the regular season against the Trail Blazers next Thursday.
With Rajon Rondo (rest), LeBron James (rest) and Brandon Ingram (quad) out, Ball will have an opportunity to run the show in his second preseason appearance. During his debut, Ball posted seven points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists in 23 minutes.
Ball (knee) came off the bench and generated seven points (3-5 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-2 FT), four rebounds, four steals and two assists across 23 minutes Wednesday in the Lakers' 123-113 preseason win over the Warriors.
Making his preseason debut, Ball narrowly surpassed the 20-minute restriction the Lakers laid out prior to the contest and made his biggest impact on the defensive end. While some of the flaws that marred his rookie season were evident -- Ball turned the ball over twice early and airballed his first three-point attempt -- he demonstrated rapport with LeBron James during the time the two shared the floor. With Rajon Rondo in the fold and looking like the Lakers' probable starter at point guard, Ball may open games with Los Angeles' second unit, but his play-making skills and defensive skills should earn still earn him plenty of playing time. Expect him to enter the regular season with only light limitations after a July knee procedure delayed his start to the exhibition slate.
Ball (knee) stated that he will play around 20 minutes during Wednesday's preseason debut against the Warriors, Bill Oram of The Athletic reports.
We knew Ball would be taking the court, but it wasn't immediately clear how much action he will see. The Lakers' medical staff seems to have confidence in his ability to play significant minutes. As a result, he is a fair DFS option.
The Lakers have brought Ball back from offseason knee surgery extremely slowly throughout camp, but it appears the second-year guard is finally set for his first in-game action of the exhibition slate. Considering the previous precautions surrounding Ball from the organization, it wouldn't be surprising if he had some restrictions in his first game back, so don't expect him to see a hefty workload. Still, it's great news for Ball, as he'll have the chance to get back into game shape prior the regular-season opener next week. According to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Ball is expected to come off the bench behind Rajon Rondo initially.
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