The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their season against in-state (and arena) rival the Los Angeles Clippers. There was a lot of buzz surrounding this game as it marks the first time the prized Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has played in meaningful NBA minutes.
Many fans are counting on Ball’s play to revive the Lakers from being the doormat of the NBA back to being relevant when it comes to playoff time. Ball’s play so far has received lots of praise with some event comparing the rookie to former Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
At UCLA, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds while shooting over 41 percent from the 3-point line which helped fuel the Magic comparisons. One of Ball’s strengths coming out of college was his superb floor vision.
Lonzo Ball isn’t the only change on these new-look Lakers. Brook Lopez made his Lakers debut tonight at center after coming over in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets that saw the former number two pick in the draft D’Angelo Russell go over to the Nets.
Although it took a while, Lonzo Ball delivered on his first NBA basket with a 3-pointer late in the second quarter. Ball started 0 for 3 before he sank his first basket with his weird, but still effective, jump shot. Later in the quarter, Ball picked up his first NBA assist. You can take a look at the basket below.
Lakers fans will surely be hoping for much more offense in the future from their floor general. Ball will need to deliver on his scoring, passing and rebounding if he wants to live up to the Magic expectations and help the Lakers reach 50 wins, like Lonzo’s dad, LaVar, has predicted. If early returns are anything to go by, it looks like he’ll be just fine with the rebounding and passing aspects. The jumper and offense might need a little more work to become a true threat in the NBA.
As if the debut of Lonzo Ball wasn’t enough, the hometown Los Angeles Dodgers also booked a World Series ticket by defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the NLCS. This is first time the Dodgers have appeared in the World Series since 1989.