Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Could Lonzo Ball be the star that saves the Lakers?

Por Fidel Orihuela

Lonzo Ball, selected with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers is on the way to become the new face of this team. This is not a secret that everyone knows about or a rumor, it is more an affirmation given by Earvin “Magic” Johnson himself, CEO of the Club. What is not so clear is if that label is too big for a 20-year-old kid that is still looking for consolidation in the big court. Anyways, there are important signs in his game that make the fans dream about the future player that he might become and there is also the fact that if he has the right company, he will be able to make of the Lakers a very competitive team.

For now, Ball has made his debut with the team from Los Angeles and has been a starter in 50 games, although he has not had spectacular numbers, probably because of the pressure of being with such a historic franchise, and also because of his father’s eccentricities, LaVar Ball, who raised tons of speculations about the brand of shoes his son was going to wear in the future. He also said that Lonzo was better than Curry, LeBron and Westbrook and finally said that he (LaVar) could have won Michael Jordan in a one on one.

In spite of all this, Lonzo’s perspectives are encouraging in the Lakers, where he will be constantly in the spotlight, even for the slightest thing, at least if the franchise decides not to incorporate another one of the hotshot players of the NBA. The truth is that no matter who makes it to the Lakers, Lonzo has on his favor his youth and a very powerful arsenal. If at some point before the draft the Lakers had any doubts whether the fact that he was going to live to their expectations, it seems that now they are more than convinced that he has what it takes to lead the team.

There are no questions about his abilities, mostly when it comes to his high pass level, apart from his countless ways to play transition, supported by his domain of the ball, his speed and his peripheric vision. These are details that make it easy for him to select often the right options to score. Lonzo is a natural point guard, but with quite uncommon characteristics for the current times, because he is 6-foot-6-inches tall (1.98 m), what gives him the opportunity to get to the bucket and domain rebounds in some occasions.

Of course, there are aspects that he needs to polish to make it in the NBA. In the first place, Lonzo has been criticized for his aversion to excessive contact, the reason for which he has not had a better impact under the blackboard. He does not evolve in his static game, very limited and ineffective so far and he is not increasing in defensive terms. He has also a weak spot in the free throws because he can’t make it beyond the 70%, while his shot mechanics could be prey for the big blockers of the League. Ball has an unorthodox jump shot whereby he moves the ball from his left hip to the left of his forehead. He rotates his right elbow in toward his chest until it reaches a 45-degree angle, when he shoots the ball towards the basket, a posture that needs a great speed to achieve high percentages of success.

The 20 years old boy is a point guard with a significant scoring power (averaging 10.2 points per game) but he has not shown still that he is a player with clutch ability. In his student career, he received several last-minute balls but nerves had the best of him and he could not do what was expected of him. As it is only logical, to have the Lakers on his shoulders he needs to be at the top with the best scorers of the NBA, the ones that with a shot can make the difference. Ball does not have that at the moment although he does stands up because of his creativity and vision when it comes to pass. These are weapons that can turn him into a leader although he might need an additional plus to get the Lakers out of the ostracism in which they have been sunken in the last years.