The 2017 NBA Draft was a nervous occasion for the Los Angeles Lakers and their fan base, as they awaited the results of the Philadelphia 76ers to find out who would be the future of their franchise. When it was all said and done, the Lakers emerged with their ideal outcome in Lonzo Ball, along with surprises in Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant.
Ball was just the talent that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka wanted to lead from the point guard position, as a bonafide point guard that can guide his teammates on the court. Although some may point to his lack of scoring thus far through 10 games, his talents on the court cannot be totally explained on the stat sheet.
The 20-year-old, who somehow manages to always keep his cool, continues to adjust his game to the NBA, facing off against top talent with a new set of teammates. While some may want the young star to be more emotional on the court, Ball clarified that growing up he was always taught to be composed from the point guard position, via David Aldridge of NBA.com:
“I was just taught, the team goes how the point guard goes,” he said. “If I’m mad or showing my frustration, the whole team’s gonna be like that, techs, and people are going to go down. So I just try to keep the even keel. That’s why I don’t get too high or too low. I’ve been playing like that my whole life. It’s just natural for me.”
This outlook just echoes the sentiments that Johnson and Pelinka were seeking to run this team, improving the overall play of the 5-5 Lakers. Ball has shown tremendously impressive qualities in a short time, further proving all the comparisons he has received to Jason Kidd. He even has earned the respect of a few of his opponents around the league, including Mike Conley.
These qualities not only resemble the ideal point guard, but demonstrate the basketball IQ and maturity he has as a rookie. A key point that does show up on the stat sheet is his +/-, having at least a +8 in five of his last seven games.
A true point guard accepts the responsibility, or burden depending on how you look at it, of orchestrating a lot of facets of the game that aren’t spoken of by the media. However, Ball has humbly set out his own path in the Southern California area, transforming from a Chino Hills product to the point guard of the future for the Lakers.
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