The adjustment to the NBA is almost always tough for rookies, and that’s been no different for Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is off to a historically bad start to his career as a shooter, knocking down a team-worst 31.3 percent of his field goal attempts so far.
While Ball probably didn’t expect to struggle to that degree, he hasn’t been caught off guard by the difficulty of his adjustment period. “I knew it was going to be tough. It’s the NBA, best players in the world,” he said.
“It’s been a grind, just trying to get better every time I go out there. Just trying to get wins,” Ball said.
The Lakers have done better in the latter department than most expected entering Ball’s rookie season, going 8-15 and hanging around the playoff race until a recent five-game losing streak sent them spiraling.
Still, head coach Luke Walton feels that Ball has adjusted as well as can be expected for a rookie of his age and playing point guard for the Lakers, no less.
“You have great games, you have some subpar games, then you have some average games. I think for the position that he’s playing as a 20-year-old rookie point guard in the NBA, he’s doing a much better job than I think most players could do,” Walton said.
“That’s going back different players throughout the last 10 years or whatever you want to call it. I think he’s handling himself very well.”
Ball has avoided one of the major bugaboos that plague the majority of rookies, only averaging 2.7 turnovers per game while still moving the ball to the tune of a team-high seven assists per game.
Eventually, Ball will shoot better, and adjust to the rest of the difficulties he knew would come for him during his first NBA season.
When he does, his passing will begin to shine even brighter and his box scores will finally reflect that he’s one of the most promising young players in the NBA.
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