Lonzo Ball threw a perfect alley-oop to Brandon Ingram on his first possession in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, and a buzz of excitement immediately filled the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada, which featured a pro-Lakers crowd in their battle with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Ball, the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, finished his Las Vegas Summer League debut with five points on 2-of-15 shooting, five assists and four rebounds in a 96-93 Lakers overtime loss. While he struggled with his shooting stroke, he delivered a series of highlight-reel passes.
Here’s a look at the play that got it all started from the Lakers’ official Twitter feed:
Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News provided reaction from LaVar Ball, the guard’s outspoken father:
It was a middling performance overall. For every moment of promise with the ball in his hands, each of which drew an audible reaction from the crowd, there was a missed shot. A better night from the field could have made it more memorable, and likely gotten the Lakers in the win column.
ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton commented on the point guard’s passing arsenal:
John Middlekauff of CSN Bay Area also discussed Ball’s distribution ability:
He just couldn’t find his shot throughout the game, missing 10 of 11 shots from beyond the arc. While that’s surely going to lead to some hot takes due to the unorthodox release on his shot, it’s most likely just one bad night.
The 19-year-old California native shot 55.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range during his only season at UCLA.
The NBA showcased his first bucket as a Laker, but there weren’t many other shooting highlights:
Looking ahead, Ball and the Lakers return to action Saturday for a clash with the Boston Celtics. Getting right back out there after a forgettable shooting night is probably the best thing for him. There’s no time to dwell on his key misses, especially in the extra period.
Los Angeles and Boston are scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff on Day 2 of the Vegas Summer League. The game will be nationally broadcast by ESPN.
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