A question mark that dogged Lonzo Ball in the time leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft has persisted since the Los Angeles Lakers selected the polarizing rookie No. 2 overall. Ball’s 30.7 field goal percentage is worst amongst all rookies.
He’s been particularly abysmal from behind the arc, connecting on just 23 percent of his attempts. Both statistics are well below the 55.1 percent and 41.2 percent Ball shot from the field and behind the 3-point line, respectively, during his lone season at UCLA.
Moreover, a 67.3 percent shooter from the free throw line in college, Ball has only made 12 of 26 (46.2 percent) from the charity stripe in his first season.
During an interview with Mason and Ireland Show on ESPN LA Radio, Ball attributed the subpar shooting percentage to missing uncontested looks, and expressed confidence results would turn:
“I’m just missing shots. I definitely like the looks I’m getting. Most of them are wide open, people are going under screens. I feel like they’re going to fall. Just have to keep shooting and shooting with confidence.”
Although there were calls for a change in his form, Ball added that’s not a path he’ll take. Beyond personal confidence, the 20-year-old has the backing of teammates, who implore him to continue shooting.
Furthermore, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, whom Ball has endlessly been compared to, suggested to his understudy that he focus remaining balanced with his form.
Against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, Ball made two of eight 3-point attempts, and shot 3-of-13 overall. “It was cool to make some tonight,” Ball said. “It’s a start. Hopefully I’ll get better throughout the season.”
The Lakers presumably can withstand some of the growing pains with Ball’s shooting so long as he continues to impact the game in other facets. Though, there was an instance last week where Lakers head coach Luke Walton believed Ball allowed a poor night from the field to affect his overall play, which led to a fourth-quarter benching.
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