Defense

  • Lonzo has held opposing starting PG’s to (136-404) 33.6% FG% on The Season in 47 Games.
  • Last 5 Games before injury
    • Harden (0-2)
    • Westbrook (3-12)
    • Dunn (1-5)
    • Sexton (2-4)
    • Jackson (4-7)
  • Lonzo has also held All-Star Point Guards to (52-172) 30.2% FG% on the season
    • Last 5 Games Against Top NBA PG’s
      • Harden (0-2) FG
      • Westbrook (3-12) FG
      • Westbrook (2-13) FG
      • Curry (1-5) FG
      • Kemba (1-12) FG
    • Basketball Index Grades Lonzo Ball out as the Best Perimeter Defender in the NBA with at least 1,000 minutes played amongst All Guards
    • Additionally, they also rank Lonzo Ball 5th in Post Defense
    • Lakers were 7th (106.7) in D-Rating prior to Lonzo’s injury, and in the 8 ½ games since his injury the Lakers have been 27th (117.9) in the NBA in D-Rating

Below Is How Lonzo Ball Grades out statistically, in different facets of the game (Graphic via: Basketball Index)

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Transition

  • Lonzo Ball has shown all season long how vital he has been in pushing the Lakers pace, and helping their offense flow properly.
    • (20%) 1st in NBA in Fast Break Frequency with Lonzo Ball
    • (13.4%) 27th in NBA in Fast Break Frequency without Lonzo Ball
  • Clearly Lakers need Lonzo to help turn Defense into Offense and give them an additional component for teams to worry about, Lonzo’s quick decision making is at its peak when the Lakers are getting out in transition.

Playmaking

  • Lonzo has been in a lesser role to begin the year, even when on the court with Lebron and that’s a big reason he is only averaging 5.4 AST a game
  • Lonzo is 12th in the NBA in AST/TO Ratio at 2.48 AST per TO. (Ahead of Lonzo is Westbrook 2.51, Kyrie 2.54)
  • Lonzo in 10 Games without Lebron, but W/Kuz, BI, Hart
    • 14.0 PTS, 6.3 REB, 7.8 AST, 43.1% FG%, 36.5% 3P%, 1.5 STL
    • In 22 Minutes Prior to injury vs Houston had 11 Assists and seemed to be figuring it out

Impact on Team

  • Kuzma when Lonzo Ball has been in the lineup in 94 career games is averaging
    • 9 PTS, 6.8 REB, 2.3 AST, 48.0% FG%
      • 5% (39-94) of Games he scores 20+ PTS
      • 7% (11-94) of Games he Scores 10 PTS or Less

 

  • Kuzma when Lonzo Ball has been out of the lineup in 32 career games is averaging
    • 2 PTS, 4.3 REB, 1.5 AST, 38.7% FG%
      • 5% (12-32) of Games he scores 10 PTS or Less

– Lonzo is also 3rd in the NBA amongst PG’s in Screens set leading to Points, behind Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray.

I really shouldn’t have to go into much more detail on how much of an impact Lonzo Ball had had, as if people aren’t satisfied with 10-5-5-1.5 as a 4th option and for most games he hasn’t been the primary ball handler. In the games he was the Lakers showed how good they could be, and then Lebron went down with injury along with Kuzma; the Lakers were depleted. The Lakers went 5-7 with Lonzo Ball when Lebron got injured and 5-4 in that span when Kuzma played as well as a big Fourth Quarter and Overtime against OKC.

 

Depth

The Depth is more than clear when we see how much Rondo struggled defensively last night, the Lakers didn’t have another option so despite constantly being a liability on Defense he was kept in the game for 35 minutes. During that time, he was able to amass 17 points and 10 assists on a good shooting night for Los Angeles in Boston, and his Game-Winner will gloss over some of his issues last night. Kyrie noted how good and unique the Lakers are defensively and single handedly called out Brandon Ingram’s Defensive presence saying, “Insert Quote.” This is because of the Lakers length and size, which Rondo doesn’t fit the mold of except for his long arms which he can use to his advantage at times. Lonzo on the other hand Grading out as a top perimeter and post defender gives the Lakers a unique ability to switch 1-4 successfully. Lakers are missing Lozno and last nights win helps soothe some of that loss.

 

Lonzo is expected to return after the All-Star Break most likely 2/21/19 against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles; 5 weeks and 2 days after his injury against the Rockets in Houston. The Lakers only have 2 games between now and then against the 76ERS and Hawks.

 

2 Comments on “5 Reasons the Lakers MISS Lonzo Ball

  1. Great read.
    Love Lonzo, even though he can frustrate me to no end, he’s my favorite player to watch.
    Super undervalued for all the winning plays he makes throughout any given game. Seems to get in his head too much and would be well served to embrace his speed and quickness in more ways in the half court set before settling on a pass when the offense stagnates and before LeBron can launch a 35 footer.
    –Couple typos in the “Depth” first paragraph.

  2. Why are you marketing him to Lakers to stay when they don’t want him and he doesn’t want to be there but his dad needs to butt out and let his son control his future because at this point his dad us costing him. Let him take control and he will be just fine. Just my thoughts not saying I’m right.

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