If you’re a Chicago Bulls fan, you should be excited. Perhaps it’s a little early to budget out for NBA Finals tickets, but there is every reason to believe your team is going to the postseason.
One of the biggest reasons for the projected massive turnaround is the acquisition of point guard Lonzo Ball. He recorded a triple-double in spectacular fashion in the Bulls’ lopsided victory over his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans in the home-opener on Friday night.
Ball’s passing and defense have been huge, but the 24-year-old is also not about to let you forget about how improved he is as a shooter.
Lonzo Ball Believes He’s One of the Best Shooters in the League
During the post-game presser, a confident Ball told reporters, he thinks he is one of the best shooters in the NBA. Chicago sports insider Daniel Greenberg captured the quote:
It depends on how you want to classify the best (Top 10, 20, 50), but Ball’s shooting numbers have been just decent through the first two games of the regular season. To be exact, he has taken 14 shots from long range and converted on five of them. That’s a 35.7% make percentage which would not qualify him as one of the league’s best shooters.
However, it’s just two games and the confidence is there. Also, during the preseason, Ball made 9 of 20 three-point attempts which is 45% and much more inline with the top three-point shooters in the league. If you combine the numbers across all six of Ball’s games in a Bulls uniform, he’s at 41%, which is still pretty darn good.
Lonzo Ball Looks to Be Worth Every Penny the Bulls Paid Him
No matter how you slice it, Ball looks to be worth every penny of the deal that will pay him $85 million over four years. Ball’s impact on the floor can be felt in nearly every aspect of on-court action.
NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson wrote about Ball already paying dividends with his play:
The triple-double gets the headlines — and rightfully so. It’s a perfect summary of the impact Lonzo Ball is making on these Bulls. But look past Ball’s 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the home-opening shellacking of the Pelicans and focus on a stretch early in the fourth quarter. That’s where the relentlessness of Ball proved most evident. First, Ball splashed in a 3-pointer, one of his three on the night, for a 20-point lead. Large advantages don’t preclude maximum defensive effort. So Ball not only stopped a drive with help in the lane at the other end, he recovered and rushed out to block Garrett Temple’s 3-point attempt. He then capped the sequence with a midrange jumper.
With Ball on the floor, the Bulls have a player without any major weakness in his game. He can take pressure off Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan with the occasional drive to the basket, as he did to open the game.
His vision allows him to ignite the Bulls’ offense in transition and to find open cutters in the halfcourt. His defense has been arguably the biggest positive.
He’s harassing top-notch point guards like Ja Morant into turnovers and getting hands on the ball with regularity. And of course, as he mentioned, providing a dependable threat from beyond the arc.
When this season is done, Ball might be the biggest free-agent acquisition of the season across the entire league.
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