Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has had a lot of ups and downs so far this season. After becoming the youngest player to ever record a triple-double, Ball has followed it up with an average performance Monday, and arguably his worst game of the season last night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ball played only 21 minutes, finishing with just two points and two assists while not seeing the floor in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. Head coach Luke Walton believed Lonzo allowed his poor shooting to impact the rest of his game and Ball agreed with that assessment.
As Ball continues to shoot the ball poorly, seemingly lacking all confidence in his jumper, many have wondered if the Lakers should move him to a reserve role. Walton, however, ended all talks of that potential move via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke Walton said there have been 'no talks,' about bring Lonzo Ball off the bench. 'He's our starting point guard.'
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 16, 2017
Walton is holding firm with Ball as his starter at point guard despite his shooting struggles likely due to everything else he brings. Lonzo is an excellent rebounder, solid defender, and the team’s best passer while also doing a good job of taking care of the ball, especially for a rookie.
Ball has struggled severely to shoot the ball, as has the entire Lakers team, but Walton has confidence that he will figure things out. Likewise, Ball’s teammates have also come to his aid, showing that they share that same belief in him.
Unfortunately, Ball has been a victim of the immense hype and pressure surrounding him. Under normal circumstances, a rookie point guard averaging 9.0 points, 6.9 assists, and 6.6 rebounds would be viewed as more than adequate and reason for optimism. For Ball, it is reason for talks of him being a ‘bust’ to begin.
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