The Lakers overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Wizards 102-99 in overtime last night. Little thanks to Lonzo Ball, who missed all five of his three-point attempts for the second game in a row, and scored in the single digits for the third time in four games. It’s early in the season, but this string of performances could be enough to shake a rookie’s confidence. Lakers Coach Luke Walton won’t hear of it. From ESPN:
Walton said he drew up the first play of overtime for Ball to shoot a 3-pointer despite the fact that he wanted his team to attack the paint.
“Lonzo, you are going to take this 3 and knock it down,” Walton said he told the rookie. “And he liked it. He didn’t make it, but he walked back to me and said, ‘Coach, I am going to hit the next one.’ And he missed the next one too.”
Walton immediately followed up:
“But his confidence was there. For a rookie, you love to see that, and down the stretch he made some really nice plays.
“Even when he is missing his shot, he is still impacting the game in such a positive way. We are really happy that we have him on our team.”
Ball had 10 assists and eight rebounds, and it’s probably only a matter of time until he’s scoring consistently (he had 29 points against Phoenix last week). Hopefully his confidence stores hold out.