Lonzo Ball (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA In DAY Sport) LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers won for the ninth…
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers won for the ninth time in 11 games with a sloppy 90-83 victory over Utah Jazz, but the night could be remarkable for something that took place afterwards.
LeBron James spoke of greatness.
Not his own. Lonzo Ballen’s greatness.
“Sometimes he does not realize how big he is and what he owns on the floor,” James said while sitting in front of his closet. “And when Zo perceives how well he is on the floor, it makes him a very dynamic player and it makes us even better.”
James seemed to be very good at his own greatness on Friday night after scoring 18 of his 22 points in the second half and blocking a run of Utah’s Alec Burks with 27.6 seconds left that would have pulled Utah within three points . James also had 10 returns and seven help but seemed more interested in talking about Ball.
Ball, Lakers second year park guard, matched James with a team-wide 10 rebounds to score nine points as Lakers improved to 11-7. In the Lakers previous match, a 109-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ball had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Yes, Ball also undertook four tournaments one night, the Lakers had a season high 24 in them. But that was not what the Lakers focused on.
“I thought Lonzo was good again when it came to attacking the color,” said Luke Walton, Lakers head coach. “Ten defensive rebounds, that’s the guy that helps you win many ball games.”
You may find Balls earlier two matches insufficient evidence that he is a goalkeeper who can help the leaders to the Lakers an NBA championship. But it’s worth listening to James.
“You know when he’s aggressive, it’s just changing our dynamics as a team,” James said. “He has made it so late and we need him to keep doing it. Because he is very good.”
The difference between the last two games and forgettable those who preceded them?
“Just Be More Agressive,” Sade Ball. “Try to get to the rim. Restart the ball. Try to do what I can to be active”.
James pointed out that Ball, partly due to injuries, has not yet reached expectations as team president Magic Johnson, has not even played 82 career games. In fact, Friday night was Bollens 70th since it became the second time in the 2017 draft.
Eventually Ball will recognize its own greatness, James said, allowing the Ball’s greatness to come forth.
“It’s going to happen,” James said, allowing him to see progress. “I can see it, but sometimes for you personally, you have to keep figuring out.”
Follow Josh Peter on Twitter @ joshlpeter11 .