Los Angeles Lakers No. 2 draft pick Lonzo Ball was back scrimmaging with the practice squad on Monday morning and said he will definitely be ready for the season opener on Thursday night. Ball did say he felt rusty and committed too many turnovers and according to head coach Luke Walton, the timing on his passes looked a little off.
Luol Deng was scrimmaging with the first unit on Monday, which many assumed to be because Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will miss the first two games of the season (suspension). However, Walton said Deng frequently scrimmages with that group and that they have not made any decisions about who will start in Caldwell-Pope’s absence (when probed, he did coyly give five potential options).
Kyle Kuzma and Ball were back at it with half-court and three-point shooting competitions after practice. Check out the competition, as well as more videos, quotes and notes below.
Lonzo on the opener: “It’s the opener, that’s all there is to it, we’ve got to get a win.”
Walton on the Dodgers: “I think what makes that team so good, is they throughout the year keep finding ways to get it done. They are definitely one of those successful teams that does it by everyone buying in, which is what we’re trying to get to.”
Walton on starting lineup/rotations: “Not about just making the starting lineup the strongest as possible, it’s about keeping a good threatening second unit that can get the job done as well.”
Lonzo on Luol Deng: “He’s a lot of help, always has something to say whether it’s on the court or in the locker room, we all listen to him.”
Walton on Lonzo wearing his own shoes, coming off the ankle sprain: “They’re shoes, they should be fine. Guys used to play in Chuck Taylors and they played entire NBA careers…”
– Josh Hart suffered an Achilles strain during practice and will get an MRI tomorrow
– Julius Randle (intercostal strain) participated in a ‘very limited’ practice, which involved shooting and 5-0 half-court stuff
– Andrew Bogut participated in everything but scrimmaging at practice, but Walton didn’t sound too keen on him being ready for the season opener.
– Lonzo said Corey Brewer has probably been the teammate that’s given him the most advice, said he’s always talking to him, especially about defense
– Scrimmage team A today consisted of: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Larry Nance Jr. and Brook Lopez
– Lonzo said he will probably wear his own shoes (ZO2 Primes) for the season opener, and Walton (*see quote above) does not care what shoes he wears