As the Los Angeles Lakers are set to kick off the 2017-18 season, a lot of pressure will be on rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. The second overall pick will be the starting point guard this year and many are looking at him to elevate the rest of the team.
Ball is known to do his best work in transition where he pushes the ball ahead and gets open looks for players. There are some questions about how effective he will be in halfcourt situations, however.
Lonzo understands what he needs to work on and improve and speaking on Spectrum SportsNet during Lakers Media Day, he said he’s been working hard on using ball screens:
“Probably ball screen work. Being a point guard in the NBA there are a lot of ball screens, offensively and defensively, so that’s the number one thing I’ve been working on.”
This is a smart thing for Lonzo to get used to as it is one of the biggest differences between the college and pro games. For someone like Ball, who isn’t the quickest or most explosive player, learning how to properly navigate screens will be huge for him throughout his NBA career.
One good thing for Ball is that the Lakers have a number of players who can handle the ball and set up teammates as well. Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson, in particular, will both be counted on to get baskets and set up teammates so all of the pressure won’t be on the rookie.
Nonetheless, if Ball becomes very effective in the half-court game it will be that much better for him as a scorer and passer. The Lakers want to run as much as possible, but the half-court game will be important as well and Lonzo is working hard to make sure he’ll be effective there as well.