As the Lakers have now won seven out of their last eight games, sitting at 11-7 after a win against the Utah Jazz on Friday, much of the focus has expectedly been on LeBron James.
But the potential of this Lakers team extends beyond LeBron and into the ceilings of his new young constituents like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball.
Ball has been the quietest out of the bunch as far as stat production but he still has a knack for impacting the game. He finished with nine points and 10 rebounds against Utah on Friday. After the game, LeBron commented on the greatness that exists in Ball and how it can change their team.
“Zo, I think sometimes he doesn’t realize how great he is and the things that he possesses out on the floor. When Zo realizes how good he is on the floor, it makes him a dynamic player and it makes us even better,” James said, before quickly adding. “He’s been doing that as of late.
Just his attacking, even when he doesn’t make it, earlier in the game he was getting to the rim. He missed a couple of them, that’s absolutely fine. He got a couple charges, that’s absolutely fine. When he’s aggressive it just changes the dynamic of this team.”
This is Lonzo Ball at his best. Decisive, downhill action. With his length this is as easy as it gets. Speed Kills.
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 24, 2018
The willingness and presence of mind to seek out scoring opportunities is the part of being an NBA playmaker that Lonzo Ball is still figuring out. When you see his ability to rebound, push the ball, get into the paint, and facilitate you also see frequent moments where he might be too unselfish.
In his comments on Ball, LeBron alluded to the fact that he hasn’t even played 82 NBA games yet (Friday night was no. 70 for Lonzo). To have LeBron James implying that your aggression makes the team more dangerous should be an appealing motivator for Lonzo Ball.
His ongoing chemistry with James and approach throughout the rest of the season to showcase the greatness LeBron sees in him should have a direct influence on just how serious this Lakers team can be.