In the team’s Friday victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Ball didn’t play in the fourth quarter until checking in with 6:36 remaining. That didn’t sit well with the Ball patriarch.
“Let him play the whole fourth quarter and bet you’ll always win. He’ll get into a better flow,” LaVar said of coach Luke Walton’s rotations. “The in and out, sitting out six to 10 minutes? He’s not going to take no shots because he’s not in the flow. He don’t want to hurt the team by shooting.”
Ball went 3-of-15 from the field in that game and played 29 minutes, four shy of his season average.
He’s been inarguably the worst shooter in the league for anyone hoisting as many attempts as he is, with his field goal percentage having dipped all the way down to 29.9 percent.
But Walton wants him to keep shooting, not just for Ball’s development, but because it will help his teammates.
“I don’t think he can ever be too aggressive,” Walton said. “Get into that paint, learn what it’s like to take on that contact and finish, and make those reads doing downhill. Whether he makes or misses shots, right now I don’t care. He’ll figure that out. He’s that good of a player. … I think [Ball’s] scoring opens up more passing lanes. He still positively affects our game just by being on the court, but to be great—to be the player he’s going to be—he needs to shoot. It’s not just about that game at that moment. As he grows as a player, we need him to continue to do those things to develop his ability and skill.”