Lakers: Lonzo Ball’s impact is much deeper than the box score suggests.

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Lonzo Ball (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Lonzo Ball (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers went all in on Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Although he has struggled at times, his impact is much deeper than the box score suggests.

Lonzo Ball has had some great games, Lonzo Ball has had some awful games. Heading into Sunday night’s contest against the Memphis Grizzlies, Ball is averaging 8.8 points, 6.7 assists and 6.6 rebounds. To be fair, the Lakers rookie is actually putting together a decent stat line at 19 years old in just his first full month of play.

However, all the buzz around Ball has only led to disappointment for some Laker fans. Mostly due to his father, LaVar, Lonzo was painted as this revolutionary player that would change the dynamic of the Lakers. After his second game, in which he dropped 29 points along with 11 rebounds and nine assists, that hype only built.

Since then, Ball has only scored in the double-digits once — a 13 point performance against the Detroit Pistons. Ball went scoreless against the Portland Trail Blazers. In fact, Ball has scored six or fewer points in five of the Lakers nine games this season.

That is all fine and dandy as Ball was never presented as a scorer. However, his other numbers have not been great recently, either. Ball has not assisted more than seven scores in his last five games. His rebounding has been good, yes, but for a guy that is supposed to be a playmaking machine fans want to see more assists.

Again, this is not awful for a 19-year-old rookie. However, sports fans, myself included, jump the gun and base a player’s entire value on one week of play. Outside of Ben Simmons and his freakishly good stat line, no other rookie in the NBA is averaging at least eight points with five or more assists and rebounds per game. Ball is.

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Still, the box score is not a fair representation Bal’s impact on the Lakers. Instead, at the point guard position, Ball is responsible for wins. While the Lakers are just 4-5, they are in every ball game and are a much better team than lat season.

Sure, that is a testament to front office’s job. Los Angeles did bring in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez among the rest of the draft class. They definitely are more talented, but the style of basketball has completely changed with Ball.

Now, the Lakers seem to be making that one extra pass, that one extra move to the basket to get better. Los Angeles is getting every player involved in the offense, leaving opposing defenses guessing on who to guard. Although there is no “scary scorer” on the Lakers, everyone is able to contribute on a reasonable level.

That is a testament to Ball, who has brought his playmaking and turned it into the culture of the team. Sure, he may not be a direct impact on each and every play, but the culture he has brought into Los Angeles is exactly what the Lakers needed. Magic Johnson did say that they needed a leader. Lonzo Ball has become such leader.

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A whole new culture exists on the Los Angeles Lakers now. As time goes on the team will continue to improve, all thanks to the cultural impact of Lonzo Ball.