Stan Van Gundy gives honest assessment of his new PG Lonzo Ball
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy’s new job isn’t going to be a walk in the park. The major task expected of Van Gundy in his tenure in the Big Easy would be to mentor the abundance of young talent he has in his roster. One of the items on his list is his talented, yet polarizing point guard – Lonzo Ball.
From the sound of it, SVG seems to be already on top of things when it comes to the 22-year old guard.
“To me, Lonzo Ball, when you’re looking at his positives, size, smarts, I think the guy’s a very, very smart player, and he’s extremely unselfish. He would much rather pass the ball than do anything else on the court. So, you’ve got the start toward being a very effective basketball player. As you mentioned, shooting 38% from three and making like 2.5 threes per game. He had games where he shot like 12 shots.” Van Gundy said (via USA Today).
His shooting has been the main antagonist for Ball’s young career in the league. But what’s good about it, per the 61-year old coach, is that Ball’s confidence hasn’t wavered and isn’t afraid to take an open shot even if his shooting clip suggests otherwise.
Van Gundy adds, “And a thing I will say, one of the things that I thought was a good step forward for Lonzo Ball this year is he had some games where he was 1-for-10, 1-for-11 from three and I saw that as a positive because in the past, what I had see from him if he’d shoot those first three and they wouldn’t go in, he was passing up shots. Now, I think Alvin Gentry had convinced him like ‘No, no, no, you’re going to keep shooting the ball and if you’re open, you shoot it.’ So, I think that they’ve got a good thing in Lonzo Ball.”
Though Ball hasn’t lived up to the hype as much as 2020’s Most Improved Player Brandon Ingram, he has proven to be quite the weapon for the Pelicans in his debut season in New Orleans. In his first 63 games, Ball was able to tally an impressive 11.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 7 assists proving that he can do so much more than just shoot the basketball.