The Los Angeles Lakers’ 96-81 loss to the Utah Jazz didn’t go L.A.’s way for a lot of reasons.
For one, the Lakers shot horribly, converting just 38.3 percent of their shots overall while going 5-22 (22.7 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The team wasn’t any better defensively, allowing the Jazz to shoot 41.9 percent from behind the arc as Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell ran wild for 43 points combined on just 29 total shots.
In addition to telling fans they should stick with the team while they’re struggling or don’t jump back on the bandwagon when they’re good on Twitter after the loss, rookie point guard Lonzo Ball put the blame for the defeat squarely on his own shoulders via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Zo: “I feel like it was my fault, those plays (Mitchell dunk, then TO) could’ve been avoided, if I would’ve done the right thing” (on SPSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 29, 2017
The dunk from Mitchell that Ball was referring to was certainly a momentum killer for the Lakers, especially when the Jazz rookie followed it up with a steal and confident pull-up three.
But still, while Ball didn’t play up to the level the Lakers are hoping he can reach while scoring just 9 points on 10 shots and offsetting his four assists with five turnovers, it would be unrealistic to pin the loss solely on a rookie point guard’s shoulders.
Ball will have to be better if the team wants to bounce back from its 2-4 start to the year and get back closer to competitive basketball, but so will the entire Lakers roster.
Still, it’s a good sign that Ball is already willing to pin the blame for defeats like this solely on himself. That’s the burden of being a franchise player, and while it’s too heavy for a rookie, it seems like Ball is already at least training to bear it.