In part because Lonzo Ball sucks so much at shooting the ball early in his NBA career, the Los Angeles Lakers instead rode reserve guard Jordan Clarkson in crunch time during the team’s Wednesday-night loss to Philadelphia 76ers.
“What was I seeing with Lonzo? That he was having an off night,” said head coach Luke Walton after the game.
“[Clarkson] is out there competing, and making the plays, and scoring for us, so it’s our job as coaches to play the guys that are giving us the best chance of winning that night.”
Ball has posted historically bad shooting numbers in the early going of what should be a long career, contributing to the team’s league-worst mark from three-point range.
According to Walton, the struggles have gotten to the rookie.
“His energy seemed a little … not the same playful, joyful, Lonzo that he normally is,” Walton said of his starting point guard’s practice on Thursday. “But that could be a good thing, that could mean he’s frustrated or mad a little bit. He was in the gym last night shooting after the game, he was in here before again early practice.”
Despite the rookie’s shooting woes, Walton hasn’t considered moving Ball out of the starting lineup.
“He’s our starting point guard. There’s no talk as of now of moving Lonzo to the bench.”
It’s hard not to feel bad for the kid.
No one would care that Lonzo Ball sucks at shooting if not for his being shamelessly promoted by his father. Then, he’d just be another rookie finding his footing, instead of being compared to Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan along the way.