The Lakers defeated the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, but the predicted torturing of Lonzo Ball by Martin Gortat, John Wall and the Wizards didnt occur. In fact, the marketing master LaVar Ball, who said that his son wouldnt lose two games in one week, was spot on with another bold prediction.
What was actually torture was Lonzos shooting. Ball finished the game 2 of 11 from the field and 0 of 5 from 3-point range. He is shooting 31.6 percent on the season and 22.7 percent from three-point range, but his impact has been evident. He did the Swiss army knife thing and played some active defense on Wall, who didnt shoot much better, hitting just 7-of-22 shots for 18 points.
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If we incorporate these new statistics that ESPN comes up with daily, then you could say Wall shut Lonzo down. He guarded Zo a team-high 24 minutes and Ball had 0 points and 0 assists with Wall guarding him. In the end, however, the only folks that cut a check their butts couldn’t cash were the Wizards. Lonzos Lakers did more of the little things that it takes to win an NBA overtime game and survived with a 102-99 win in front of a star-studded, celebrity-filled Staples Center crowd. Lonzo walked through his 40 minutes of hell with gasoline draws on. The Lakers are a respectable 2-2 and in seventh place in the Western Conference.
Lakers beat the Wizards 102-99 in OT. “No mercy.” -Lonzo Ball https://t.co/YIu1exh6c9
Overall, Balls shot was looking suspect but he did grab eight boards and dish out 10 assists while setting up critical three’s from Kyle Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope during the overtime period.
The Great Facilitator is who he is, regardless of who people want him to be and as better players are positioned around him, the aspects of his game that make him comparable to Jason Kidd will reveal themselves.
All of the media posturing aside, the only number that should matter for a point guard is Ws.
Some will give Ball flack for his poor shooting, but his true impact will be measured in how many games the Lakers improve over last season. And because numbers arent the only measure of a champion or an impact player, when the Lakers win, then Lonzo wins and he has more than met this challenge.
Next up for the young and hunted one is the Toronto Raptors’ bulldog combo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan on Friday.