From offseason knee surgery to inconsistent playing time, Lonzo Ball has had his fair share of highs and lows through the first quarter of the 2018-19 NBA season.
As Ball handled himself well during his rookie season, there are championship expectations now and everything is magnified with LeBron James’ arrival.
With Ball stressing the importance of being aggressive during Rajon Rondo’s absence, it all finally came together for him against the Charlotte Hornets.
Following Ball’s triple-double where he finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Lakers head coach Luke Walton thought it clearly was his best game, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah, absolutely. Start to finish, he kept himself engaged and played aggressive throughout.”
As James also had a triple-double, Walton discussed what went right for both of them:
“They play basketball, they make the right reads. I thought they were both very aggressive, as far as both ends of the floor, making sure we didn’t lose two in a row. They’re both such brilliant playmakers that when they’re aggressive and they can get in the lane, it puts a lot of pressure on another team’s defense. LeBron, we’re kind of used to him doing that. But I thought ‘Zo made some really nice strides tonight as far as continuing to try to get downhill.”
While there are debates about Ball, his all-around potential is why the Lakers selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. As the 21-year-old has been consistent with his passing and defense, the next step is becoming a consistent offensive threat.
Rondo has been cleared to resume basketball activities and is nearing his return, but Ball will need to maintain his aggressive mindset even with the veteran backing him up.
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