New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had nothing but praise for Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball after picking up his first win of the season in a game that had the No. 2 pick’s fingerprints all over the game.
Gentry pegged Ball as an “old soul” and “a coach’s dream,” according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
Lonzo Ball totalled eight points and struggled with his stroke, shooting an inefficient 3-of-13 from the field and 0-for-5 on 3-pointers — but it was his floor game which stood out for the Pelicans’ coach, as the Lakers’ point guard snatched eight boards and collected 13 assists, becoming the youngest Lakers player to ever hit the double-digit assist mark in a game.
“I don’t see how he could possibly fail,” Gentry said.
The Pelicans shot a blistering 57 percent from the floor and benefitted from 14 steals and transition opportunities against an inexperienced Lakers squad in a 119-112 win, despite being outscored in the second half.
Lonzo Ball will surely have his struggles throughout the season, whether it is with field goal efficiency or with his ball control (game-high five turnovers on Sunday), but the homegrown talent has plenty of upside with a terrific court vision very few players have at this point in their careers.