Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Ball, meanwhile, hasn’t hit his offensive stride yet. The 6-foot-6 former UCLA star has an effective field-goal percentage of just 34.6 and has hit just 23.4 percent of his triples. His abysmal offensive rating (84) is only slightly more abysmal than his defensive rating (103). As a passer, he’s very advanced. As a scorer? Less so.
Ball will enter Wednesday’s game against the Celtics having missed 24 of his past 30 shots, including 11 of his past 12 3-pointers…
Ball has played in eight of the Lakers’ 10 fourth quarters this season, shooting 21.1 percent and has missed all nine of his 3-point attempts. Coach Luke Walton has sat Ball down the stretch of recent games, a testament to his struggles and the fact he may not be as NBA ready as advertised.
Yes, I’m one of those people rooting against Lonzo Ball. At first, it had everything to do with his blowhard father. Now, those feelings have diminished and been replaced by my genetic disdain for the purple and gold.
And what’s making all of Ball’s struggles even sweeter is the fantastic play of Jayson Tatum. The Duke rookie passes the eye and analytics test. I love this stat from Jay King:
How good? Try 52.9 percent from 3-point range, and 54.8 percent during non-garbage-time minutes (per Cleaning The Glass), a total which places him in the 96th percentile among NBA wings.
ESPN is broadcasting the game and that means the Lakers/Lonzo hype machine will be on warp speed 10. The Lakers may be 5-5 right now, but a quick glance at their schedule shows they could easily lose 7 out of their next 10 games. In other words, don’t write off the lottery pick just yet.
If Lonzo and Tatum have some words a la Magic and Bird in their first game, I might have to change my old school Celtics sweat pants.
Related: Herald – Even in Kyrie Irving era, Celtics fans still hate Lakers
On Page 2, the league knows the Celtics are real and very good.
With Hayward, the Celtics believed in their heart they had a very good shot at getting to the NBA Finals and would have been only too happy to play with house money there. Now they’re on a free roll of sorts anyway, with at least an outside chance they get Hayward back before the postseason.
“But I bet they’re not even thinking about that,” one scout said. “And they shouldn’t be. They’re good now, and they’re going to get better as the kids get more experience. But even if Cleveland wasn’t going through what it is now, I’d still like Boston’s chances against them.
“This isn’t the same team that was such a longshot (in the conference finals) last year.”
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