Lakers proved they have what it takes to hang with the Warriors

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On his best nights, Lonzo Ball can be better than Steph Curry

While his scoring comparison to the two time MVP and two time champion in Golden State’s Steph Curry is still a bit off, rookie Lonzo Ball can be the x-factor for the Lakers to stay close with the defending champs.

This is largely due to the fact that we are starting to see that Ball can make those passing plays that we’d expect him to with being the second overall pick, but there’s still a few gaps he’ll need to fill before the postseason for this to be a real threat to the Warriors.

Above all else, the largest hole for Ball to fill is his mental toughness. Admitting when a shooting slump has gotten into his head, leaving teammates hanging in a scuffle and going the complete opposition direction, and having to deal with his father all have hit the kid pretty hard in his first year.

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But we’re not to the halfway point of the season yet, so for that, I still have hope while being probably one of the bigger critics of his lack of production when it comes to points per game.

The way that Steph Curry changed how teams looked at the ability to make long range shots from deep has changed the way the rest of the league has to play in order to have a chance to beat the Warriors. In doing so, Curry has left the door open for Ball to lead his own evolution of the game via the passing attack.

And if Ball can be all he is supposed to, the Lakers will have enough talent to put enough points up every time against Golden State. If you don’t believe that, the fact that they’ve gotten to overtime twice without either game being a fluke should be enough for that.

The small moment that Ball shared with LeBron James after the Lakers felt just short against the Cavaliers in Cleveland provides a turning point for the Lakers rookie. He can take the advice he got from James and tune out the distractions, or he’ll go down with the ship.

Chances are he’ll go with the first one.