After all the Lonzo hype before the start of the season (due to the marketing tactics of his genius father), Ball’s start to the season has been underwhelming. We’re not even a fifth of the way into the regular season, so it would be unreasonable to judge the player Lonzo will be for the rest of this season, let alone his career. He’s currently averaging 6.9 assists and 6.4 rebounds a game, which are pretty good numbers for a rookie. Also, his defence has been a positive; he’s an active defender and gets into passing lanes for steals and he’s even an above average shot blocker.
The problem, however, is his scoring, which looks terrible. A lot of this can be attributed to his funky shooting form, in which he brings the ball up from his left side (as a right handed shooter). Basically, he can’t shoot going right and defenders don’t respect his shot, rightfully so. His handles are very average, which doesn’t help either as it makes it hard for him to get to the rim. He has the second worst field goal percentage through 12 regular season games into the season (since 1954). He’s missing threes, layups, floaters, and its not pretty. There’s a lot of games left in the season, so keep an eye on his shooting percentages, because his efficiency is terrible as of now. 29.2% from the field, 22% from 3, and 50% on free throws. His half court offensive game is struggling because of this. His passing, which is supposed to be has transcendent skill, is not amazing in the half court because of how defenders are guarding him. He’s still a great transition passer and does a good job of controlling the pace. His assist to turnover ratio is better than the likes of John Wall and Kyrie Irving. There’s a lot to like about Lonzo’s game, but unless he can start knocking down shots at a decent clip, which will open up his game, he will struggle living up to the hype.
This is not a hate on Lonzo post. He’s already one of the most talked about players in the league as a rookie. His career has just started and he’s got lots of people rooting for his failure. I look forward to seeing how he proves them wrong and improves as he plays more games and gets used to the NBA game.
Bremner’s Head of House Josh Golden proudly rocking his Lonzo Ball jersey #BBB
On an unrelated note, the Raptors are doing well. They survived a tough Western conference road trip going 3-3, which could have easily been 5-1 (close losses to the Warriors and Spurs). They have totally revamped their playing style by trying to implement more ball movement and 3 point shooting, and it has had its up and downs. They’re 7th in 3-point attempts per game but 29th in percentage. Players like Lowry, Ibaka, Miles and Powell are going to have to get more consistent from out there. Anything DeRozan gives you from 3 is a bonus. The bench unit has also been a positive so far this season with the young guys (Wright, Siakam, Poeltl, Anunoby) coming into their own. After losing key rotation players like PJ Tucker, Patrick Patterson and Cory Joseph (lost DeMarre Carroll as well but he was bad), it is key that the young players on the team develop if they want to remain a top team in the East. Overall, solid start for the Raps.