The Lakers kept their prized rookie on the sideline against Portland after Ball suffered a mild calf strain in his right leg in the third quarter of Sunday's semifinal win over Dallas. Apparently not. ESPN reported record Summer League ratings, thanks to Lonzo, and that means we're only going to get more of the Balls on TV. Ball is a strong candidate for MVP honors after averaging 16.4 points, 9.2 assists, and 8.4 rebounds in five games. A night after a 36-point, eight-rebound, 11-assist performance, Ball had 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds against Cleveland. Assistant coach Jud Buechler is running the summer-league team.
Of course it starts with Ball, who's now the Summer League's all-time leader in assists per game. Additionally, the way he gets teammates involved and pushes the ball up the floor consistently should make the young Lakers better immediately. ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth asked Ball before Sunday's game.
But all the talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard has been about what's been on his feet when he's putting up those stats. Second-year player Brandon Ingram only played in one Summer League game, but he dropped 26 points in it.
The Lonzo Ball Show is officially over in Las Vegas. If you're a Lakers fan looking to see him play, yes. Regardless, maybe Ball is just more comfortable wearing other shoes right now. He said he attends high school games in California and saw Chino Hills play, with all three of the Ball brothers, two summers ago.
The Lakers built a 62-40 halftime lead over the Mavericks. I had scouts tell me that come the season they will go under picks and make him prove he can score at the National Basketball Association level (he's gotten buckets driving to the rim in Summer League that will be more hard when National Basketball Association defenders who understand how to rotate get in his path).
Those warts aside, what we've seen over the last two weeks has given us all reason too believe Lonzo is the real deal.