L.A.

Lonzo Ball struggles in Lakers’ Summer League debut: ‘Only way I can go is up’

Heading into the Los Angeles Lakers‘ first game of Summer League, there was plenty of buzz surrounding Lonzo Ball‘s debut in a packed Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas. 

Following a tantalizing pass for an alley-oop to Brandon Ingram on the Lakers’ first possession of the game, Ball struggled throughout the contest finishing with five points on 2-of-15 shooting from the field including 1-of-11 from beyond the arc with five assists, four rebounds, two steals, one block and three turnovers in the 96-93 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers

The 19-year-old struggled to find any offensive rhythm with his shot often times settling beyond the arc that led to him missing his first six attempts from distance while his only makes in the game came on a 3-pointer and a putback layup. Despite that, Ball still had a chance to put the Lakers ahead in the final minute of the fourth quarter but missed a layup then clanked a pair of 3-pointers that would have tied the game.

He also had his fair share of struggles on the other end of the floor having a few defensive lapses on individual assignments by allowing his man to get by him to the rim and got caught on a couple off-ball screens. Even with that all in mind, Ball took the optimistic route following his first game with the Lakers since being selected last month with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

Aside from a few impressive passes, it was a forgettable opening performance that Ball will have an opportunity to bounce back from on Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. when the Lakers take on the Boston Celtics. 

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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