Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball had a pretty rough opening night. Matched up with First Team All-Defense guard Patrick Beverley, Ball made only one of his six shots en route to three points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists in the Lakers’ 108-92 loss to the Clippers.
Beverley, known for his physical style, hounded Ball from the beginning and made life very tough on the rookie in what was probably the worst possible matchup for someone in their first NBA game. The pressure being put on ball, in particular from his father LaVar, isn’t helping matters either.
Beverley made sure to let Ball know this as he spoke with Ball after the game and told the rookie to expect players to come after him due to his father’s words via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
“I told him after the game due to all the riffraff his dad brings, he is going to get a lot of people coming after him. I said to be ready for that and I told him that after the game. What a better way to start than with ‘Mr. 94-Feet’ guarding him.”
While this is pretty unfair to Ball himself as he himself never said anything, it is exactly what many believed would happen as LaVar continued to make claims on behalf of his son. Ball has maintained that his father’s words and actions don’t bother him, but they definitely seem to be making life more difficult.
Thankfully for Ball, there aren’t many other point guards in the league who can do what Beverley can defensively. He also wasn’t helped by his teammates’ inability to knock down shots. The Lakers and Ball have a long ways to go, but the potential remains high. If Beverley’s words ring true, Ball has a long road ahead as players are lining up to take him down.