Though there were undoubtedly some issues with the overall showing from the Los Angeles Lakers in Wednesday night’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, there were some promising individual performances. Chief among those was point guard Lonzo Ball.
Ball finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, but most important was his mindset. He was aggressive, attacking the basket consistently with only two of his 11 shots coming from three-point range.
Head coach Luke Walton was extremely happy with Ball’s performance and spoke about why he was excited to see him play so well, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I loved it. That was one of my favorite parts of our game, was how much he was attacking the rim. Even the ones he didn’t finish, I didn’t care. Just seeing him get downhill, get physical and play-make, he’s so gifted with that. To see him kind of take that next step was really a positive for us.”
Walton wasn’t the only one to take notice of Lonzo’s performance. Brandon Ingram noted how an aggressive mindset really improves the Lakers as a whole:
“I think when he plays like that, he pushes the pace for us and makes everyone want to run down the basketball floor. Even if he doesn’t have the shot, he definitely has the IQ to pass the basketball. I think that just makes us the better team.”
JaVale McGee also added that this is something he and the team as a whole has been preaching to Ball:
“That’s what we’ve been telling him. I personally told him early, like, ‘Just be aggressive, man. You run the team. That’s you.’ I feel like he was extremely aggressive. He had some nice dishes and some nice buckets.”
There is a ton of pressure on Ball to produce overall, and with Rajon Rondo out he is the only true point guard in the rotation.
An injury-filled rookie season and offseason knee surgery has made it even more difficult for Lonzo to improve as fast as he and everyone else would like, but performances like his Wednesday one give everyone hope about the type of player he can ultimately become.
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