After a practice recently, Los Angeles Lakers veteran center Tyson Chandler told local reporters that second-year point guard Lonzo Ball has impressed him on defense. Chandler knows defense better than anyone, as he won the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year award with the New York Knicks.
Lonzo Ball is 6-foot-6. For a point guard, that’s pretty tall. The former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 1.2 steals per game this season. He's got really good lateral quickness which allows him to stay in front of speedy point guards and hedge and recover in the pick-and-roll.
On Saturday against the Orlando Magic, Lonzo Ball showed off his entire defensive package on one possession.
The Lakers still have one of the worst defenses in the NBA. However, Lonzo Ball's effort on defense has to be very encouraging. The former UCLA Bruin said after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves he was having trouble staying engaged for 48 minutes. It looks like those issues aren't apparent anymore.
Lonzo Ball entered Saturday averaging 8.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 61.5 percent from the free-throw line. With Rajon Rondo out with a broken hand, the Lakers are going to be depending on Ball even more now.