But it’s the latter of those three that’s drawn the most attention after the team’s first preseason game–a 131-95 routing of the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 5th.
Ball finished with eight points, five rebounds, and five assists in 26 minutes on the floor, but more importantly; newfound respect from his teammates DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
After the easy exhibition victory, both guards made sure to compliment the point guard and his overall impact.
It seems the Chicago Bulls four year, $85-million investment in Lonzo Ball is already yielding positive results.
But can he and the team maintain a similar level and style of play when the game’s outcome holds actual weight?
DeRozan: ‘He Makes the Game Easier’
When speaking with reporters (via The Athletic) after his first game with the Chicago Bulls, DeMar DeRozan made sure to compliment his new point guard:
When you’ve got a point guard of that magnitude with that IQ that’s as unselfish as he is, he makes the game easier and it makes it fun.
And not just for his efforts on the floor, but for (via NBC Sports his overall “demeanor” as a player:
He’s a helluva player, talent, IQ. It’s fun, man. He makes it easy. What’s even better about it is he has the greatest, most humbling demeanor toward him too. But it’s definitely fun playing with him.
Two of Lonzo Ball’s five assists went to the four-time All-Star, both for two-point jumpers, and he’s confident that what fans saw against Cleveland is only the beginning:
You saw the way we moved the ball tonight. It’s been like that all through training camp, and we expect it to keep getting better.
DeRozan is coming off of a 12th career season where he managed a career-high 6.9 assists per game average.
But in the Windy City, it looks like he’ll be able to focus more on aiding the team as a scorer than a facilitator.
LaVine: ‘It’s Been a Treat’
DeMar DeRozan is as new to the team as Lonzo Ball, but the point guard’s got a fan in the team’s longest-tenured player, too: All-Star guard Zach LaVine.
Those two’s connection on the court may prove the most important of any two Chicago Bulls players.
LaVine sure seemed optimistic after the emphatic performance by Ball and the team alike against the Cavaliers:
“He gets the ball out of his hands so fast. He’s such a high IQ guy. I think we’re all on the right mindset of going out here and playing hard, setting the tone from the beginning. So it’s been a treat to play with him.”
Fans caught a glimpse of what these two are capable of when Ball hit LaVine towards the end of the first half (via @ClutchPointsApp on Twitter) for a baseline dunk:
The entire Chicago Bulls team as a whole got off on the right foot in game one of their four-game preseason slate.
And their new point guard, Lonzo Ball, seems everything the team envisioned he would be. On and off the hardwood.