The Lonzo Ball debut was anything but a good time for the rookie out of UCLA.
Instead of exploding onto the scene as the new face of the Lakers, the Lonzo Ball debut showed us that maybe our expectations for the new point guard in town are in fact too high. Defensive strong horse Patrick Beverley wasn’t going to give Lonzo Ball the light of day, and he made it clear to the rest of the league just what kind of target Lonzo appears to have on his back.
In 24 minutes on the floor, Beverley added to his big defensive night with ten points of his own. Ball, however, scored just three points while also having nine rebounds and four assists. The only part of the young core to scratch double digits was Brandon Ingram, who had 12 points, but even then it was clear they all have a lot of work to do.
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Julius Randle had nine points in his regular season debut, while Kyle Kuzma had eight points to show for it.
The concern with Lonzo Ball isn’t that he didn’t come to play in his first game, it’s that his impact on the game wasn’t felt and he played for 29 minutes.
For comparison, D’Angelo Russell, who was traded by LA to Brooklyn in the off-season, had 30 points to show for it in his Nets debut. Los Angeles management insisted that Ball was the better option at point guard for the long-term future, and so far it’s hard to say that they made the right decision.
Respectfully, it was just one game, but there hasn’t been this much hype behind a rookie in quite some time, maybe ever. A lot of that has to do with his family’s involvement in the spotlight, and the fact that Lonzo’s dad always makes his son sound like he’s an immediate Hall-of-Famer.
Let’s hope that the kid can bounce back quickly.