NBA Opening Night: Clippers will present big challenge to Lonzo Ball

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

With NBA Opening Night around the corner, it’s only fair to keep our expectations tempered for Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Showtime might be back sooner than expected, but that doesn’t mean that every game in the early phase of Magic Johnson’s plan will go well for the purple and gold. Thus far, the team is 0-2 in the preseason, but has had strong showing from Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and others.

This is good for the sake of maintaining the momentum that the Lakers gathered by winning Las Vegas and taking Summer League by storm. Lonzo Ball was obviously front and center of that story, as he will be throughout the upcoming regular season, but the reality is that on opening night he will probably have a hard time.

He’ll finally be playing at an NBA tempo with the rosters set league wide and the defensive pressure on him put on him like he’s never been guarded before. Not at UCLA, not in the preseason or Summer League, and definitely in none of the training he’s done at home or with his brothers.

Patrick Beverley has made it a goal of his to make Lonzo Ball’s debut another not-so-great instance in the NBA. While the issue Beverley has isn’t directly with Lonzo yet, it’s been stemming from the words and actions of LaVar Ball.

Unfortunately for Lonzo Ball, his dad isn’t the one that is now the in the NBA and has to play and live up to any bold statements. It starts with Lonzo, and then trickles down to his two brothers to either prove their father’s crazy predictions right or fall way short of the expectations.

Beverley is known as one of the better defenders in today’s NBA, which is another reason to be worried about how Lonzo Ball performs. Once he gets in a groove, Ball could be something special for Los Angeles, but that doesn’t meant that things will start off on the right foot necessarily.

Next: Kyle Kuzma Continues To Prove He's Legit

How Ball continues to play in the preseason will be a testament to that.