Luke Walton wants Lonzo Ball to be more aggressive at times
Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has seen a drastic improvement since coming back from injury, but it hasn’t stopped his coach Luke Walton from wanting more out of him.
The second-year coach has been eager to see the second overall selection flourish into a more complete player, hoping to see changes in his aggression before the season comes to an end.
“Sometimes, we’d like him to even be more aggressive, even if it causes turnovers or missed shots, just to continue to get reps at doing things,” Walton explained, according to Josh Martin of LonzoWire. “He does a nice job of reading and taking what the defense gives him.”
Ball’s game has come very natural, a go-with-the-flow approach that has led him to take what the defense gives him, but in order to reach superstardom, Ball will have to learn to dictate what the defense will do to stop him, instead of solely letting the game come to him.
“He’s pretty good at taking what the defense gives him on most nights,” Walton said, “On a lot of nights, that’s three-point shots because a lot of teams go under on him. He doesn’t normally get fixated on anything and try to force it.”
Ball has yet to reach double-digit scoring in his last five games after a torrid stretch of four straight games scoring 10 or more. In fact, the Chino Hills native has under 30 percent in his last five outings, limiting his effectiveness on the floor.
Yet the rookie has remained engaged defensively, coming up with 11 steals and four blocks through that stretch.
“I thought he was really good to start, really locked in, ready to go,” Walton said of his performance in a 110-100 loss to the Indiana Pacers. “I feel like defensively most nights, he’s always tracking the ball and engaged.”
Ball will have a chance to put these instructions to work on Thursday in a road game against the New Orleans Pelicans.