McGee- “Lonzo will be back. That will be good to have a big guard on defense guarding the point guard position.”
Mcgee’s comments come as no surprise as a ton of the Lakers coverages, specifically their “drop coverage”, they need a player like Lonzo Ball on the Court to help McGee on the defensive end. Lonzo provides a unique mismatch on defense, as he’s bigger (6’6) than most point guards he lines up across from.
Lebron On Lonzo “He’s a very gifted basketball player, Very CEREBRAL basketball player. I think when he’s playing aggressive basketball and thinking shot-first, everything else opens up for him. He has some of the quickest hands that this league, and has had a lot of people always try to discredit what he can do offensively, but they never give him enough credit what he does defensively. Every time he’s in the lineup, he’s getting two, three, four steals, deflections.”
Lebron brings up what many others have in the past, when Lonzo is being aggressive and playing confident and shooting the ball he very good on both ends, but no matter what he does on offense he’s always pivotal in what the Lakers do on Defense, as he’s constanlt playing help defense and getting into the passing lanes; all while holding PG’s too a horrible FG% o the season.
Lebron “We Just need to hold down the fort until Lonzo Returns”
This remark came as a small surprise because it was pre Trade deadline and there was still major Trade rumors surrounding the Lakers. Maybe this was something he said Incase Lonzo was Traded, or Lebron actually believed they needed Lonzo. Either way he was right to make this comment as the Lakers have went from a Top Defensive Team with Lonzo Ball, to one of the WORST defenses in the NBA without him. The Lakers haven’t been holding down any sort of fort.
Lebron- “We are missing a Huge Piece in Lonzo Ball”
This couldn’t be more obvious. Lakers are 3-8 since Lonzo’s Injury Vs. Houston, and are giving up 126 Points a night since Lonzo’s Injury. That is absurd, the Lakers couldn’t have the All-Star Break come at a better time.
Lebron On Lonzo Ball’s Playmaking and passing ability- “We’re one and the same when it comes to our playmaking ability,”
This was interesting too me because i believe Lonzo is dead even with Lebron when it comes to passing and playmaking ability, Lebron just warrants the ball being in his hands more due to his scoring ability. However, the way Lonzo shares the ball i’ve Long been advocating for Lebron to play more off Ball, and become a better more skilled Karl Malone, while Lonzo runs the show. But I’m not sure if Lebron is ready to do that at this point in his career.
Luke- “He allows us to switch a lot. If they want to run any pick and roll minus the center, the 1-5 pick and roll, we can just switch it. And we feel confident Lonzo can guard most of the other players there.”
Lonzo can Guard 4 different positions in the NBA, 5 depending on the lineup. The Lakers are confident in their ability to switch and have Lonzo matched up on posts and wings due to his height and added muscle mass this offseason. And we’ve several examples of Lonzo holding his own in the Post, against Blake Griffin, Lamarcus Aldridge, and other PF’s Lonzo has switched onto during the season.
Luke Walton on Lonzo “He’s great at instincts, getting deflections. A lot of the schemes don’t change but our aggression and a few of the switching schemes change without him out there.”
Rondo can’t switch the same as Lonzo, nor does he provide the same sort of mismatch or fear on the defensive end. With Lonzo out there opponents have been second guessing themselves to a degree, as it seems many guards are less willing to shoot with Lonzo lined up on them.
Luke Walton in reply to Lonzo Ball’s shooting woes affecting the rest of his game, “He’s too good of a player, and he’s too important to us, to let that happen,”
Tyson Chandler- “Tonight was huge. Again, I’m going to keep talking about Lonzo, not just because of his scoring tonight but he was just huge all night. He was talking, he talked to me on a couple of plays, Lonzo Ball Can Be GREAT.”
Tyson Chandler has made several comments about Lonzo Ball’s potential and I think Chandler has now gotten an opportunity to see Lonzo grow as a player and mature as a leader. He knows Lonzo has real potential in the NBA, that it’s just a matter of time before he breaks through the threshold.
Tyson Chandler- “I’m a fan of Lonzo. Watching his story, watching him throughout college… He has a chance to be a great point guard in our league. I think he has a chance to be like a guy, and I hate to put that legend out there like that, but like a guy that I played with, Jason Kidd.”
Tyson Chandler played with Jason Kidd, and knows the former champion very well on and off the court. I’m sure he doesn’t throw that comparison as lightly as many others have, but the comparison is very spot on. Lonzo can be great, and can even be near legend status in his own right if he continues to develop.
Kuzma- “I think getting Lonzo back into the mix is definitely one thing. He’s had a hell of a season defensively and we kind of feed off of him. He’s picking up 94 feet, getting stops all over the floor and has great defensive instincts.”
Kuzma knows their recent struggles on Defense are in large part to Lonzo Ball, even when he isn’t getting a steal or the Lakers don’t get a stop; just the threat of Lonzo picking the opposing team up 94 feet changes the flow of the game and how quickly they can get into their offensive sets. The Lakers have forced multiple 24 second violations due to Lonzo picking up a player full court. Lonzo has really had an All-Defense type of season for the Lakers.
Rondo- “He can switch one through four. He’s bulked up this summer. His length is a big factor as well. Sky is the limit defensively as well.”
This statement can’t come as much of a shock because Rondo knows what he’s able to defensively and what he used to be able to do during his Boston days. Lonzo Ball is leaps ahead of that defensively and Rondo knows that Lonzo can be very special on that end, and in transition. The size factor is also huge, as he has put on muscle to go with his superior height at the position, while he’s alresdy one of the better athletes in the NBA.
Lonzo on Lebron’s Praise “He’s one of the best players ever to play the game, so I don’t think he’d lie just because I’m his teammate,” Ball said. “I think he really see’s something in me.”
Lonzo Ball KNOWS, he’s got what it takes to play at a high level in the NBA. Hearing Lebron talk about his game in a positive light has to be huge for the eldest Ball brother as he grew up idolizing Lebron. Lonzo is also right, Lebron doesn’t just talk about everyone’s basketball abilities in the manor he did Lonzo’s. You can tell he also believes Lonzo is a rare and special talent, now we just have to wait and see if Lonzo can become a point guard made for a KING.