Lakers Notes: Ball, Walton, Johnson, James

The Lakers’ brass is encouraged by Lonzo Ball‘s revamped shooting stroke, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register reports. Ball still holds the ball further left than most right-handed shooters but it’s closer to the center than last season, Goon notes. Ball shot 36% from the field and 30.5% from long range during his rookie season. “The way he’s shooting the ball looks a lot more fluid now,“ GM Rob Pelinka said. Ball, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this summer, has been medically cleared for camp but won’t initially participate in five-on-five scrimmages, Joey Ramirez of the team’s website reports. “He’s been 100 percent cleared by our medical staff to return to full basketball activity,” Pelinka said.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Luke Walton‘s job status won’t be in jeopardy if the team gets off to a slow start, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. LeBron James needs time to settle in with his new teammates, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson says, and Walton won’t be penalized during that process. “As I was talking to Luke, we said don’t worry about if we get out to a bad start,” Johnson said. “We have seen that with LeBron going to Miami, and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts.”
  • Johnson shrugs off criticism of controversial free agent signings following James’ commitment, including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee, Matt Eppers of USA Today writes. “We love that they all are different individuals and they bring something different to the table,” Johnson said. “We needed some grittiness, we needed some toughness. We needed somebody to come in and be upset that somebody had a defensive lapse.”
  • Johnson can’t hide his enthusiasm over James’ impact, even before training camp officially opens. “LeBron comes in, and he’s already in midseason form and shooting fadeaways and 3-pointers from almost half-court,” Johnson said in an Associated Press report. “And you’re sitting there saying, ‘Man, thank God we signed him.’”
  • Brandon Ingram and Stephenson are the team’s top small forwards and Ramirez takes a closer look at all the options at the position.
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13 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Ball, Walton, Johnson, James

  1. dust44

    Lakers have twice as much talent around LeBron as the Cavs did last year and anytime Kyrie was hurt.

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  2. paladin

    Magic says ”We love that they all are different individuals and they bring something different to the table,” Well Magic this isn’t potluck dinner, might be some in there if Beez brings something to munch on….Second: ”We needed somebody to come in and be upset that somebody had a defensive lapse.” If Rob & Magic watch any film on defensive schemes in the Cavs/Dubs Finals they will see Lebron have multiple failures on defense and TT ripped him on many occasions. I wonder who gets to call out Lebron when he goes soft on D? Luke pulled guys out who didn’t play D last season. Coaches could get fired for those transgressions if a certain Mega star player doesn’t like how it’s done. ….We will see in the coming seasons if Magic backs Luke the way Riley backed Spo. I think Luke is a great coach but I wouldn’t bet he makes the full run of Lebrons contract with the Lakers….I would bet the unders.

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  3. Sooo excited to see the new Lonzo shot, the young guys of the Lakers leap jumping ahead, the new vets & specially The King. The Lakers will be so exciting to watch this year, it’s showtime. They will be #2 in the west, even Cousins said that Lakers have a real shot of beating GSW, said it is the only team that can beat the Warriors.

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  4. sixpacktwo

    Lebron is one of the best players ever, but he is now 34. One injury or a couple of years away from average. Teams will put younger players on him and wear him down.

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    • jump shot

      Come on, man…. respectfully, LeBron could drop off and still be better than 3/4 of the league. Kobe hit 60 in his LAST game after age and injuries. LeBron is 3 acl’s and 8 years frim average.

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  5. Dark14ry

    Elephant in the room asks, Who is gonna heave up the last shot? LeBron has always passed on it so that he cant be blamed for missing it

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    • Kingmojo101

      He has a lot of choices depending on who is hot that night, Ingram, Kuzbass, Hart, Wagner, maybe Rondo or even ball.

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    • restingmitchface

      Kuz and Hart have shown they’re not afraid of the moment. I might add BI to that mix soon, too.

      And I don’t buy your premise, anyway. LeBron has taken tons of late shots. That’s just a tired narrative that Kobe-lovers created.

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