Pacific Notes: Ball, Walton, Teodosic, Iguodala, Jackson

Outside of a few standout performances, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball‘s first professional season has been inconsistent at best. The Lakers’ season has mirrored Ball’s inconsistency as the team is 10-15, good for 10th place in the Western Conference. If the franchise and Ball want to achieve success, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant believes the 20-year-old point guard needs to improve now.

Speaking to Chris McGee on Spectrum SportsNet’s ‘Connected With’, Bryant said that Ball and the Lakers cannot wait and plan for several years to see improvements. Instead, Ball — and several of his young teammates — needs to take initiative and improve on his own accord.

“He needs to get better now,” Bryant said (via ForTheWin’s Nick Schwartz). “Kuzma, better now. Randle, better now. Players, you want that now. We never thought, ‘OK, we’re going to win four years from now. We really thought this is our year. We’re going to get this done. We’re going to push, push, push, push, push to get better now.’ And in the process of having that impatience, you develop. If you’re just patiently going about it, you’ll never get there. For players, it’s kind of patient impatience.”

In 25 games, Ball is averaging 8.6 PPG, 7.1 APG and 6.8 RPG. However, Ball has struggled on offense, shooting .321% from the field and .246% from beyond the arc.

Check out other news from around the Pacific Division:

  • In a well-written and well-crafted feature, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk dissected Luke Walton’s transition from player to assistant coach to head coach. Walton, currently in his second season as head coach of the Lakers, has learned under legend Phil Jackson, current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, and his legendary father, Bill Walton. As Youngmisuk writes, all three men have shaped the way Walton conducts himself as head coach.
  • While Andre Iguodala is 33 years old, his ability to impact a game on both ends of the floor has made him invaluable to the Warriors. Head coach Steve Kerr said that, in particular, Iguodala’s defense reminds him of Scottie Pippen, Mark Medina of The Mercury News writes.
  • While Clippers rookie Milos Teodosic is close to returning from a plantar fascia injury to his left foot, the team is still unsure when he will be back, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports. “He’s close, I’ll say that,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “Watching him yesterday, I just didn’t think he was ready. But he’s close. It’s a tough one.”
  • Suns rookie Josh Jackson said his adjustment from college to the NBA has gone well, Dennis Chambers of Basketball Insiders writes.
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15 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Ball, Walton, Teodosic, Iguodala, Jackson

  1. dodgerblue7

    Lonzo Ball is 20, not 19 (it says he is 19 in the opening paragraph).

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    • landsend

      He still suck at any age. #2 pick and struggling the way he is, no a good sign. Maybe he should go overseas with the Three Stooges and play in Lithuania.

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  2. old ranger

    Get rid of Ball. As long as his nutty dad rails he won’t be worth diddly. Send him to Memphis or Charlotte so that his old man is out of the Lakers head and the kia is in obscurity.

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  3. Reflect

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Kia’s in obscurity either tbh.

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  4. At this point, Kobe’s opinion is about as useful as LaVar Ball’s. At the end of the day, it’s up to Lonzo to step up – and that’s purely on him.

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  5. Sports

    I think Kobe forgot his first few seasons in the league…

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    • Grant
      Grant

      He’s not saying Lonzo has to be an all star right now he is saying that Lonzo has to have the mentality of “I am going to be an all star.” to properly develop. Kobe is not wrong

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  6. bowserhound

    I’m willing to give Ball a ‘pass’ on his rookie year stats if he at least looks like he is hungry and trying to improve. HArd to tell with his demeanor, and at times it looks like he gives up on the court. Get fired up and shut all the naysayers up Lonzo!

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    • BSPORT

      He doesn’t have the talent to shut anybody up. What did he even do in college ball? Magic screwed up pick and fell for the hype. He should have been a second round pick at best. Would have liked to see Ingram and Fox together.

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      • bowserhound

        If he can produce near or full triple-doubles every game I’d say a lot of people would be eating their foot.

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