Lonzo Ball has been ice cold, but Lakers hope he turns it around on the road

first_imgWalton has repeatedly insisted that the Lakers will not try to alter Ball’s unconventional shooting motion and that the shots will start falling.“I know that he’s out here working,” Walton said. “I know that he’s been a good shooter his whole life.”When Ball is packing for his first big trip, perhaps he could leave his recent performances behind. Maybe throw in some of what he accomplished in college.In one season at UCLA, Ball shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range and Walton said he has watched the rookie make 10 straight jumpers in practice.“I think it’s just in my head,” Ball said. “Got to keep working.”Added Walton: “It will only be a matter of time when that percentage starts to go up.”The Lakers thinking seems to be: The shooting trouble will take care of itself, and so will Ball.The sweatsuit situation is another matter. Walton was reminded of his own rookie season when he was 23.He had never owned a heavy coat. He didn’t need one in his native San Diego or at the University of Arizona. He figured the team-issued pullover sweatshirts would get him through the winter.“That,” he said Monday, “is not what a winter coat is.”He learned that at 3 a.m. in Minneapolis as he helped unload the team plane. It was a situation that called for more than the T-shirt and jeans he found himself wearing while unloading the team plane– a bygone duty for Lakers rookies – in 20-degree weather.“I now pack winter coats every time I go on these type of trips,” Walton said.Walton better hope Ball is as quick of a study. Otherwise his point guard might stay ice cold. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — To prepare for the unknown, Lonzo Ball bought a suitcase. He will throw in three sweatsuits and hope that’s good enough for the frigid climates in Boston, Washington and Milwaukee.“I don’t have very (much) cold attire,” Ball said. “I’m from out here.”For his first multi-game trip, Ball is kind of winging it. The Lakers don’t give their rookies a checklist for what to pack on a long trip.“We trust that they can pack,” Walton said, “but we also expect them to make some mistakes and then they’ll learn from those mistakes.”center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAdd life on the road to the list of things the Lakers seem content to let Ball figure out on his own.That list already includes Ball’s poor shooting. The star rookie’s season shooting percentage dipped below 30 percent after he made just 3 of 13 shots in Sunday’s 107-102 win over Memphis. At 29.9 percent from the floor he ranks last among 19 qualified rookies, while Kuzma’s 56.3 percent leads the field.Against the Grizzlies, Ball made only one of his eight 3-point attempts and through 10 games is just 11 of 47 from deep.The surprising Lakers (5-5) have won three of their last four games, but in that span Ball has made just 2 of 15 3-point attempts. The No. 2 pick in June’s draft has always been billed as a pass-first playmaker, but the Lakers can’t afford for Ball to be pass-only.“He’s been a little down on himself a little bit with the season he’s having,” fellow rookie starter Kyle Kuzma said. “Of course he wants to play a lot better. I just try to tell him to be more aggressive on the floor. … Once he’s confident in his game he’s pretty hard to guard.”last_img

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