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Sport Three takeaways from Lonzo Ball’s Lakers preseason debut

16:30  11 october  2018
16:30  11 october  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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First Take ' s Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman react to Lonzo Ball ' s Los Angeles Lakers preseason debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves. ✔ Subscribe to

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Lonzo Ball's much-anticipated preseason debut Wednesday in Las Vegas had a little bit of everything for Lakers fans, including a win: 123-113 over the two-time defending champion Warriors.

Ball's line: seven points on 3-of-5 shooting with two assists, four rebounds and four steals in 23 minutes.

“First quarter, I was a little winded,” Ball said (via the Orange County Register). “After that, it was all good.”

The Lakers' fifth preseason game and Ball's debut offered the most telling look at what this team might become. It's early, but it's intriguing.

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Well, go ahead and drop Ball to 6-1 in his NBA career, counting scrimmages, as the Lakers lost to the Timberwolves on Saturday night 108-99. There' s a lot to move past for Ball . He finished with eight assists, but shot only 2 for 9, and his three turnovers were the kinds of glaring mistakes you would

Here are three takeaways from Lonzo Ball's preseason Lakers debut:

1. It won't always be Lonzo to LeBron.

Ball — who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee over the offseason and had been rehabbing through the first four games of preseason — brought the crowd to its feet on a dunk off a lob from James, with whom Ball has yet to play alongside, even in practice.

“That’s my first time being on his team,” Ball said (via nba.com). “But that’s my play. We run that all the time and he put it up there for me.”

James, per ESPN.com, added, "I think we've all seen [Ball's athleticism] since he was in high school, I believe."

2. It was a small sample size but Ball's shot did look better.

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The Lakers have talked this offseason about how hard Ball has worked on a stroke that last season might've been charitably called funky.

Hitting 3 of 5 shots in preseason is no big deal, but he'll have to improve on last year's 36 percent from the floor (30 percent from 3-point range). This was a good start.

3. It wasn't just his left knee that Ball was working on in the offseason.

He looked active on defense, witness the four steals in limited minutes, and he looked … swoll.

All in all — as the Register noted under the headline "LeBron James, Lakers show hope for injecting life into Lakers-Warriors rivalry" — there were a lot of positives on a Wednesday night in Vegas.

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Lonzo Ball , second from left, locks arms with teammates during the National Anthem before the start of the game against Minnesota in Anaheim on Saturday The Lakers will continue their preseason schedule on Monday, when they host host Denver at Staples Center. Walton, who has stressed the

Lonzo Ball will make his preseason debut tonight against the Warriors. Ball underwent knee surgery during the summer but now he is ready to make his debut . Per ESPN, Ball could play between 10 to 30 minutes when the Lakers and Warriors meet in Las Vegas, according to coach Luke Walton.

This felt like the true beginning of the beginning of a new Lake Show, punctuated by James' dramatic midcourt buzzer-beater into halftime that capped his double-double in only 18 minutes of play.

“I thought it was going in,” said Ball, who watched James’ dramatic shot from on the floor. “He set his feet, and obviously that’s his range. He shot it like it was a free throw.

“You know,” Ball added with a shrug, “LeBron James.”

Another takeaway: It was Lonzo's debut, but this is LeBron's team — and it's a better team.

Lakers guard Lonzo Ball: 'I’m one of the best defenders on the team' .
Ball said he gained 20 pounds in the offseason, which will help his game.The Lakers point guard played only 24 minutes in Friday's 119-105 win over the Warriors, but he disrupted the flow of Golden State.

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