Lakers Point Guard Lonzo Ball, To Miss More Games
Lonzo Ball will be out of action for at least one more week. The Los Angeles Lakers medical team determined that the point guard will need more time to recover from a bone bruise. Ball will be re-evaluated in a week.
Ball, a former number two overall pick, went down with an ankle sprain during the Lakers' come from behind victory over the Houston Rockets on January 19. Following an MRI scan the next day, it was confirmed that Ball suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain and will need four to six weeks to recover. However, team doctors discovered a bone bruise that complicated the injury.
The Lakers medical staff has determined that while Lonzo Ball continues to make progress towards a return to play, he needs more healing/recovery time due to a bone bruise related to the ankle sprain suffered on Jan. 19. He’s set to be reevaluated by team docs in about a week. — Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 1, 2019
The Lakers medical staff advised the Lakers to holdout Ball for at least another week. The Lakers are 5-9 after the 21-year-old point guard went down. Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game for the season before the injury.
While the Lakers are feeling Ball's absence in the offensive end of the floor, it actually was Lonzo's defensive presence that the Los Angeles Lakers badly needed. Although the former All-Star Rajon Rondo has already made his successful return to the Lakers lineup, the team is actually +7 on the season when Rondo isn't on the floor.
Ball may be just an above average individual defender, but the Lakers clearly felt his absence. The Lakers posted the fifth-worst defensive rating in the NBA during the span that Ball was out. The Lakers also turned the ball over the most during that same span.
LeBron James himself admitted that they needed Lonzo Ball to be better. "We obviously miss another ball-handler, another playmaker," James said. "A guy that's very, very good defensively," James added.
According to James, the Lakers misses what Ball brings into the defensive end of the floor. "With his ability to get a steal and pressure the offensive point guard and then push the pace for us, get into our early offense," James told Brad Turner of the LA Times.
The team has been riddled with a lot of distraction throughout the season. From the botched Anthony Davis trade, to the alleged chaos in the Lakers locker room, to key player injuries, the Lakers need a spark to keep their playoff bid alive.
With Rajon Rondo and LeBron James finally healthy, the Lakers can start walking the walk instead of talking the talk. Without Lonzo Ball, it would be an uphill battle whether they have LeBron or not. That being said, it would still be an uphill battle whether the Lakers get Lonzo Ball back in time for a playoff push and an eventual playoffs run if they even make it.