The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their Summer League opener to the Los Angeles Clippers thanks in part to poor performances from Lonzo Ball and Ivica Zubac.
Most of the Summer League crowd for the Lakers-Clippers game came to see Lonzo Ball in his professional debut. Unfortunately for Ball and Laker fans he struggled in the game and was unimpressive to say the least.
Ball got off to a good start lobbing the ball to Brandon Ingram on the first play of the game which ended up being the highlight of the night for Lonzo. He struggled mightily from the field finishing with five points off of 2-for-15 shooting and was 1-for-11 from three.
— NBA (@NBA) July 8, 2017
But it wasn’t just that his shot wasn’t falling that was unimpressive. Lonzo seemed to lack the confidence he displayed at UCLA. Although he is a pass-first point guard, he passed up too many opportunities to drive to the basket and look to score. He certainly was trying to get others involved but looked timid when it came to his own offensive game.
Despite an off shooting night, Ball did display the reason he was drafted by the Lakers in the first place. He showed great passing ability and finished with an assist total of five, which could have been higher had a few more of the Lakers’ shots fallen. Ball also had four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Ivica Zubac is another Laker with high expectations coming off a promising rookie season. Despite Summer League being a chance to show his improvement and perhaps dominance, Zubac put on an underwhelming performance and was ultimately outplayed by rookie center Thomas Bryant.
I didn’t have good energy. I’m supposed to be one of the leaders on the court and I take the blame for the loss.
Zubac had five points and four rebounds in almost 16 minutes of playing time but also mishandled many balls and was out of sync on the floor. For a guy that looked to be the center of the Lakers’ future last season, having such a minimal impact on the game seems like an issue of effort. Zubac was critical of his performance after the loss, however, and should have a bounce-back game against the Boston Celtics Saturday.