Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has shown great vision and a knack for distributing the basketball, but his inability to score is starting to become an issue for the team.
Ball failed to score any points in Thursday night’s loss to the Trail Blazers — going 0-for-2 from the floor — in a game that the Lakers lost by only three. His scoreless performance was a feat we haven’t seen from a top-5 pick playing considerable minutes in their rookie year since Dikembe Mutombo — a player known more for his defense — in 1992.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton recently said he was “not concerned” with Ball’s shooting woes, even though the young point guard has been scrutinized for his unorthodox shooting style. The criticism appears to be warranted, as Ball has scored only 41 points in his last six games.
The “NBA on TNT” crew recently debated about Ball’s struggles, and Charles Barkley revealed what he believes to be a major flaw in the young guard’s game.
“He’s got this defect in his game because he can only shoot the ball from the left side of his body,” Barkley said. “So he can only shoot going left, because he can’t go right because he’s bringing the ball from over here. So he’s only half of a player right now and guys are taking half his body away.”
Barkley has delivered plenty of hot takes over the years, but he made a great point about why Ball could be struggling to score the ball, and also how teams are likely defending him. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers try to tinker with Ball’s shooting motion in the future.