Lonzo Ball hasn’t shown much progression from his rookie season to his second year in the NBA, and last night it appeared that fans are starting to lose patience with the former No. 2 overall pick.
There is no question that Ball has all the traits necessary to be a superstar in the association. However, his constant shooting struggles continue to prevent him from reaching his full potential.
Unfortunately for Ball and his supporting cast, those issues were magnified yesterday on the national stage.
With LeBron James still nursing an injury to his groin, the Lakers are learning how difficult life can be without their superstar forward.
Although several players on Los Angeles struggled against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ball disappeared when it mattered most. Not only did he score just three points in 35 minutes worth of action, but he connected on one free throw out of five attempts.
Ball went to the free-throw line with the Lakers trailing 91-85, as he was given the opportunity to cut the deficit to four. Once he missed the first attempt, the crowd in the Staples Center erupted with boos.
Here is the video:
Even play-by-play broadcaster Mike Breen was stunned by the fans’ reactions.
Ball has been abysmal from the charity stripe this season, connecting on only 45 percent of his attempts.
If the Lakers are going to be a contender in the Western Conference, then someone other than James will have to be a playmaker. The former UCLA standout has shown in the past that he can create opportunities for himself and teammates, yet that hasn’t been the case this season.