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DonRocks

Lonzo Ball (1997-), Los Angeles Lakers #2 Pick in the 2017 NBA Draft - Gifted Point Guard from UCLA

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Lonzo Ball, I fear, is somewhat overrated, has too much baggage, and might be a disappointment in the NBA. 

Look at his stat line this year: 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, 7.6 assists. That's very impressive, especially for a freshman, and especially in the assists category.

However, his shooting technique is extremely flawed, and he's not mature enough to tell his father to back off.

Yes, he can shoot an open 3, but his free-throw percentage this year is 67.3% - think about that for a moment.

He's big and quick, he can jump, and he can pass very well, but he is a big risk - my dark side hopes the Lakers pass on him at #2, just to irk his father.

I believe Lonzo Ball will be a good NBA player, but I'm not convinced he'll be the superstar his father claims he already is.

Feb 1, 2017 - "Why Lonzo Ball Isn't the Surefire NBA Superstar Some People Seem To Think He Is" by Colin Ward-Henninger on cbssports.com

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Lonzo has court vision like very few- the comparisons to Jason Kidd on the offensive end of the court are apt in my opinion. He's no worse as a shooter then Kidd was coming out of college. Where he may suffer most is on the defensive end of the court as he does not seem particularly fleet of foot despite having good anticipation on passing lanes- see De'Aaron Fox taking his lunch money in the NCAA tournament last season.  Personally I think Fox would have been the best of the 3 point guard prospects if he hadn't fallen into dysfunctional basketball Hell in Sacramento- now he'll be looked to to make something of a franchise that is quite possibly the most poorly managed in the league. I have a hard time buying Markelle Fultz stock simply because he was a college point guard for a team which won 9 games with the majority of those victories being over schools outside the Power 5 conferences- not much elevation of the team there.

Lavar's influence will decrease now that Lonzo will be playing with/for grown ups. He'll be busy making Steve Alford's life miserable when Son 2 can't get off the bench at UCLA.

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9 hours ago, farmer john said:

Lonzo has court vision like very few- the comparisons to Jason Kidd on the offensive end of the court are apt in my opinion. He's no worse as a shooter then Kidd was coming out of college. Where he may suffer most is on the defensive end of the court as he does not seem particularly fleet of foot despite having good anticipation on passing lanes- see De'Aaron Fox taking his lunch money in the NCAA tournament last season.  Personally I think Fox would have been the best of the 3 point guard prospects if he hadn't fallen into dysfunctional basketball Hell in Sacramento- now he'll be looked to to make something of a franchise that is quite possibly the most poorly managed in the league. I have a hard time buying Markelle Fultz stock simply because he was a college point guard for a team which won 9 games with the majority of those victories being over schools outside the Power 5 conferences- not much elevation of the team there.

Lavar's influence will decrease now that Lonzo will be playing with/for grown ups. He'll be busy making Steve Alford's life miserable when Son 2 can't get off the bench at UCLA.

You must watch a lot of college ball.  I don't.  Do you, Don?   I read the stuff above referenced by Don.  But I haven't seen him play.

Of what I've seen references to Jason Kidd are very impressive.  I thought Kidd had the BEST "down court" vision I've ever seen.  He would have the ball in his defensive half of the court, have his head up, his teammates, if they were smart, were racing down court, and he delivered more deep passes to racing teammates than anyone I've seen.  More of them and more effectively, and he did it consistently.  He manifested fast breaks, similar to what Magic did, though they did it in different styles.

These days because of advanced camera work and sophisticated statistics the data gurus have told us that uncontested shots are dramatically more effective than contested shots.  Crap.  Everyone knew this.  If you can run fast breaks before the defense gets back its easier to score.  The great Celtic teams of Bill Russel thrived on that.  Today the advanced stat geeks give us the hard data to prove it. 

Of many point guards in my book Jason Kidd was the best at launching long passes to generate those fast break opportunities.  If Ball has that kind of court vision and can manifest it in games he has a rare skill.

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On 6/26/2017 at 7:47 AM, farmer john said:

Lonzo has court vision like very few- the comparisons to Jason Kidd on the offensive end of the court are apt in my opinion. He's no worse as a shooter then Kidd was coming out of college. Where he may suffer most is on the defensive end of the court as he does not seem particularly fleet of foot despite having good anticipation on passing lanes- see De'Aaron Fox taking his lunch money in the NCAA tournament last season.  Personally I think Fox would have been the best of the 3 point guard prospects if he hadn't fallen into dysfunctional basketball Hell in Sacramento- now he'll be looked to to make something of a franchise that is quite possibly the most poorly managed in the league. I have a hard time buying Markelle Fultz stock simply because he was a college point guard for a team which won 9 games with the majority of those victories being over schools outside the Power 5 conferences- not much elevation of the team there.

Having now seen a bit of Lonzo Ball. Oh yeah. He is an excellent passer.  Quite obvious.  Will he be a good or great player??  Don't know.  Summer league is entirely different than the regular season.  Ricky Rubio is a wonderful passer but is far removed from being a star, winner, or notable game changer.

TBD.  For Ball and for Rubio come to think of it.

But Ball, quite obviously an excellent passer and in that vein he has Jason Kidd type attributes as a passer

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I've already watched a bit of early season NBA.   Had a hard time staying awake for that game, but it became very obvious very early:  Beverly manhandled him.  Also the Clippers played smart D and cut off the long distance passes:  essentially none of that this game.

Its a long season.  We will see what happens.  Ball has an excellent passing eye.  He could be great.  On the other hand the Clipper Defense shut down one aspect of it.  Again. Its a loooooooooong season.  More to be learned.  They guy has way more hype than any other player and I suspect a healthy number of opponents will take that "daddy created" marketing hype and try and shove it in his face.

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44 minutes ago, DaveO said:

I've already watched a bit of early season NBA.   Had a hard time staying awake for that game, but it became very obvious very early:  Beverly manhandled him.  Also the Clippers played smart D and cut off the long distance passes:  essentially none of that this game.

Its a long season.  We will see what happens.  Ball has an excellent passing eye.  He could be great.  On the other hand the Clipper Defense shut down one aspect of it.  Again. Its a loooooooooong season.  More to be learned.  They guy has way more hype than any other player and I suspect a healthy number of opponents will take that "daddy created" marketing hype and try and shove it in his face.

That's one difference between defense and offense: anger and resentment can make you play better defense (it rarely helps you play better offense) - Patrick Beverly sticks to his opponents like a coat of paint, and he had extra incentive to stay in Ball's face all night long. The article said he gave him a warning that others would be doing the same, but after he makes the rounds once, and people see that he's a nice kid, the desire to put him in his place will subside.

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35 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

The article said he gave him a warning that others would be doing the same, but after he makes the rounds once, and people see that he's a nice kid, the desire to put him in his place will subside.

Unless his dad opens his mouth again.

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2 hours ago, zgast said:

Unless his dad opens his mouth again.

"Traina Thoughts: ESPN Just Can't Quit LaVar Ball" by Jimmy Traina on si.com

Watch the video - as far as I'm concerned, you can put LaVar Ball *and* Stephen Smith on a train, and buy them a one-way ticket to nowhere.

Smith isn't stupid, but his delivery is beyond old; Ball *is* stupid, and his delivery is beyond old.

And I agree with the commenter who said that the major sports outlets need to ignore LaVar Ball, because he's making people hate his son.

I think there's a parallel here with Richard Williams and his daughters - everybody hated them, in part because they were selfish, in part because of their father's asinine behavior, and yes, in part because of racism. But now? They've matured, aged with grace, and their father has. Finally. Shut. Up. And now they're the toast of the world.

That said, if my son was 18, and I acted like this? He'd tell me to sit the hell down and shut the hell up - perhaps it says something about the character of Lonzo Ball that he isn't strong enough to tell his father to leave him alone.

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

"Traina Thoughts: ESPN Just Can't Quit LaVar Ball" by Jimmy Traina on si.com

Watch the video - as far as I'm concerned, you can put LaVar Ball *and* Stephen Smith on a train, and buy them a one-way ticket to nowhere.

Smith isn't stupid, but his delivery is beyond old; Ball *is* stupid, and his delivery is beyond old.

And I agree with the commenter who said that the major sports outlets need to ignore LaVar Ball, because he's making people hate his son.

I think there's a parallel here with Richard Williams and his daughters - everybody hated them, in part because they were selfish, in part because of their father's asinine behavior, and yes, in part because of racism. But now? They've matured, aged with grace, and their father has. Finally. Shut. Up. And now they're the toast of the world.

That said, if my son was 18, and I acted like this? He'd tell me to sit the hell down and shut the hell up - perhaps it says something about the character of Lonzo Ball that he isn't strong enough to tell his father to leave him alone.

Somehow Stephen Smith's delivery is popular.  I grew sick of it a while back.  Guess my reaction is not reflective of what is mainstream popular for this type of thing.  Lavar Ball...oooh what a blowhard.  But that is working too.  Not for me, and obviously controversial, but it too is working enough.

I suppose one difference between these two voices and Richard Williams is that  when his daughters were first coming up and then entering major women's tennis.. is that there wasn't this unbelievable social media world and the immediacy of every utterance hitting every media source.  I guess we have never had a better era for blowhards.

In any case Lorenzo Ball is currently a talented pass first guard.  How well he does is an unknown...no matter how much his father fans the flames.  Still to be determined

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Okay. This guy has far more press than he deserves at this point...but here is another perspective on his development:

The Laker brain trust studied point guards from the past to get a feel on how they should try and guide Ball and his teammates.

They came up with Jason Kidd as the best model.  After seeing a bit of Ball from the summer league that appears to be a no brainer...but the Laker coaches are being paid the big bucks to make good decisions.  Per the story there is a lot more to the success of that kind of approach than just looking up and making passes:  Practice, practice and practice.

Might be interesting to watch over the course of the season to see if Ball and his team evolve to how the NJ Nets played after Kidd joined them.

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LeBron James' impact so far on Lonzo Ball: 

Points down 2.0
Rebounds down 1.8
Assists down 2.3
Steals down 0.5
Blocks down 0.7
Personal Fouls down 0.2
Turnovers down 0.8

but

2-Point Field-Goal % up from 42.0% to 46.7%. 
3-Point Field-Goal % up from 30.5% to 34.7%
Free-Throw % up (!) from 45.1% to 57.1%

Much of this has to do with Minutes down from 34.2 to 26.6, but so far, Ball has become more efficient.

Per Game

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2017-18 20 LAL NBA PG 52 50 34.2 3.9 10.8 .360 1.7 5.7 .305 2.2 5.2 .420 .440 0.6 1.4 .451 1.3 5.6 6.9 7.2 1.7 0.8 2.6 2.3 10.2
2018-19 21 LAL NBA PG 17 15 26.6 3.1 7.8 .402 1.5 4.2 .347 1.6 3.5 .467 .496 0.5 0.8 .571 1.0 4.1 5.1 4.9 1.2 0.1 1.8 2.1 8.2
Career     NBA   69 65 32.3 3.7 10.1 .368 1.7 5.3 .313 2.0 4.8 .429 .450 0.6 1.2 .471 1.2 5.2 6.5 6.7 1.6 0.7 2.4 2.2 9.7

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On 6/26/2017 at 7:47 AM, farmer john said:

Lonzo has court vision like very few- the comparisons to Jason Kidd on the offensive end of the court are apt in my opinion. He's no worse as a shooter then Kidd was coming out of college. Where he may suffer most is on the defensive end of the court as he does not seem particularly fleet of foot despite having good anticipation on passing lanes- see De'Aaron Fox taking his lunch money in the NCAA tournament last season.  Personally I think Fox would have been the best of the 3 point guard prospects if he hadn't fallen into dysfunctional basketball Hell in Sacramento- now he'll be looked to to make something of a franchise that is quite possibly the most poorly managed in the league. I have a hard time buying Markelle Fultz stock simply because he was a college point guard for a team which won 9 games with the majority of those victories being over schools outside the Power 5 conferences- not much elevation of the team there.

Lavar's influence will decrease now that Lonzo will be playing with/for grown ups. He'll be busy making Steve Alford's life miserable when Son 2 can't get off the bench at UCLA.

I think this observation was spot on at the time.   Lonzo Ball has rare talents.  This year he is playing with Lebron James and Rajon Rondo both superior and ball dominant play makers.  Ball's functions have and will change over the season, though there are never enough great ball handlers and passers.   If the rest of the team responds accordingly the Lakers might well have a strong season....they are already starting to play better.--Lets face it--LeBron James is that good for a team.

Good luck to Ball.  He has an opportunity to further develop his skills in the NBA to a finer level.  Innately he has that rare Jason Kidd quality that over time was a tremendously valuable asset to winning teams...and in a further similar vein, JKidd was not an accomplished outside shot during most of his career.

But this year, playing second fiddle on a team with Lebron will be interesting to watch.  (I wonder how many young players evolve "better" while playing with a dominant superstar?)

Speaking of Lonzo Ball he had his best game of the season the day before Thanksgiving.   His teammates have been telling him to play aggressively and on that day he did.

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The Lakers finally unloaded Lonzo Ball (and others) for Anthony Davis - I don't care how much they gave away; Lonzo Ball was a nobody, at least not in terms of winning a championship (he can be on a championship team, but only as the 4th or 5th player, nothing more than that).

James and Davis form a tandem of awesome - now they need one more player, perhaps a role player: Look for the Lakers to be in the playoffs next year (they were able to hold onto Kyle Kuzma, who is a very real weapon).

To Lonzo's father, LaVar, you shouldn't have anything to worry about now, right? Now that Lonzo has been traded along with other great players to the Pellicans? They're a lock for an NBA title, right? Yeah, let's see how this unfolds. Lonzo was probably the worst free-throw shooting guard in the league - you can't win anything with a guard who shoots 43.7% from the free-throw line (although I do think he'll pair better with Zion Williamson than LeBron James - still, how many alley-oops can you get per game?)

From "LaVar Ball - Lonzo Trade Will Be Lakers' Worst Move" by Ohm Youngmisuk on espn.com:

""I guarantee: Like I say again, it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship," LaVar Ball told ESPN while at the Drew League on Saturday to watch his son LaMelo play. "Guarantee it."

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