“They’re soft. They don’t know how to coach my son. I know how to coach him. I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around.”
Besides his over-the-top appearance on CNN, LaVar Ball generated some noise on Tuesday, when his quote about the Lakers being “soft” and not coaching his son the right way circled around the internet. Later that night, Lonzo Ball put up eight points, 13 boards and four assists in a 19-point comeback victory for the Lakers against the Chicago Bulls. I guess you could say they stopped messing around in the second half.
Ball’s ability to get rebounds continues to impress and his playmaking was decent, but once again, his shooting was awful: he missed seven of his first eight shots and finished the game 3-of-13 from the field and 2-of-8 from three.
“It’s frustrating, especially if i’m open.” Said Ball after the game, when asked about his shooting struggles. “It would be one thing if they were all tough shots but they are all wide open.”
The most disturbing stat about his shooting to me isn’t the wide-open field goals he’s missing. It’s the free throws he’s not taking. For the fourth time in five games, he failed to attempt a single free throw. It’s actually been six games since he made one (2-4 on November 11th) and he has just seven free throws in the month of November. Just to put that in perspective, point guards James Harden (9.5), Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, Kemba Walker, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Ben Simmons and Mike Conley each average at least five attempts a game; Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, D’Angelo Russell and Eric Bledsoe average at least four. Rookie De’Aaron Fox is even averaging 2.5 and he’s playing just 26 minutes off the bench. After averaging 33 minutes in 18 games, Ball is averaging just 1.4 attempts and less than one made free throw a game. I can’t recall a starting point guard who averaged less than one free throw a game.
With all that said, I’m still riding on the Lonzo train and believe he’s on track to being a solid point guard in the league, but his shot and the types of shots he takes needs to be thrown off and some help needs to come on board.