Lonzo Ball News

Lonzo Ball Pulls a Few Tricks Out of His Bag with Mid-Range Game for the Lakers

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Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Detroit Pistons for their fourth straight road game, and left in defeat for the third time in as many games. The bright spot for the team was a spectacular performance by rookie point guard, Lonzo Ball, who again displayed his ability to fill up the box score by posting 15 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and two steals. But it wasn’t just the stats that stood out, but the manner in which he scored the majority of his 15 points.

After beginning this season in as horrendous of a shooting slump imaginable, Lonzo began to find his shot towards the end of 2017, prior to injuring his shoulder and again his knee in the early part of this year. Upon his return, he was on fire from beyond the arc going 17-29 (58.6%) in his first five games back.

However, many of those 3-point attempts were open looks, or when defenders opted to go under the screen. Unfortunately for Lonzo, other teams took notice and began to alter their strategy towards him in terms of how to defend his new found stroke. In a breakdown by Laker Film Room, he illustrates the new strategy, which essentially forced Lonzo to beat defenses with mid-range shots, or finishing at the rim.

During his time at UCLA, it was well documented how many shot attempts Lonzo took inside the 3-point line that were not layups or dunks. That number was 7. It is clear his comfort level with shooting mid-range shots is not yet there, as his skill set growing up was to always get others involved.

Last night however, Lonzo showcased a bevy of shots that if continued, will make him deadly offensively. With the Pistons playing Lonzo the same way other teams have as of late, Lonzo first attacked the sagging big (Andre Drummond) by shooting a floater for his first points of the game. Next, during an isolation situation, he displayed a beautiful step-back fadeaway over Anthony Tolliver. In the second half, again coming off a screen, Lonzo moved to his left, and banked a shot off the backboard. And for his final mid-range exploits, coming off a Julius Randle screen, Lonzo exploded to his right and pulled up on the right elbow to effortlessly swish the shot en route to finishing a stellar 7-of-8 from the field for the night.

Ultimately, the goal is to win, and the way Lonzo is built, that’s all he cares about. However, his play offensively is critical for the Lakers’ future, and the silver lining to this is the comfort moving forward in knocking down these mid-range shots.

With a full arsenal getting prepared for next year, Lonzo is on his way to being one of the top players in the NBA.

Brandon Williams is the Editor in Chief for Fresh Sports TalkYou can follow him on Twitter @TalkinWithFresh, or “Like” him on Facebook.

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