Blazers’ Damian Lillard says Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is ‘figuring it out’
After an impressive win over the Detroit Pistons earlier this week, Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Portland Trail Blazers with Damian Lillard hitting a game-winning three at the Moda Center.
As Lillard shined in the win over the Lakers, the same can’t be said for Ball who failed to score for the first time in the first eight games of his NBA career. Despite Ball’s rough night, Lillard sees a bright future ahead of the former UCLA star, via Sean Highkin of The Athletic.
“It’s a lot of eyes on him. People expect him to go out there and do a whole bunch. But it’s a process for every rookie in this league. He’s not a score-first point guard. He likes to move the ball and pass. Good size, good length. He’s figuring it out. Like I said, just like any other rookie in the league, it takes time. I wish him the best. I like what he can do. I like his playmaking ability. He rebounds the ball well, he plays hard, he’s humble. I wish him the best going forward. It’s tough in this league. I think that’s what people gotta understand. You have to give guys time to develop and get better.”
Although Ball has struggled to find a balance between scoring and distributing early in his rookie season, the 20-year-old’s talent is undeniable. Ball has shown flashes of brilliance on the basketball floor in the eight games he’s played as he tries to live up to the extremely high expectations bestowed upon him.
Along with the potential to become the Lakers’ next superstar, Ball’s has had quite an impact on this team while also receiving high praise around the league from players like Lillard. This revamped Lakers squad seems to be playing with a different kind of energy and motivation with head coach Luke Walton’s message getting through to his players.
On Friday, the Lakers will try to bounce back from the loss to Lillard’s Blazers as they will host the Brooklyn Nets in D’Angelo Russell’s first game against his former team. It will be a battle between two promising young guards who will be looking to lead their teams back into the playoffs this season after long postseason droughts.