Pregame Shoot Around: Lakers vs. Bucks
Lakers vs Bucks
Tonight the Lakers are taking on the Milwaukee Bucks tonight and will be looking to turn things around after losing the first two games of their road trip. After starting the season out hot, the Bucks have fallen back in the East and currently sit with a 5-6 record. They have recently made an addition to their team bringing in Eric Bledsoe who was disgruntled with his current tenure in Phoenix.
Yo lets just get right to it, the rumblings and complaints about Lonzo Balls broken ass shot have gotten louder and louder, and seemed to culminate with Lonzo Ball openly admitting that his shooting woes are in his head. Then promptly went out and shot horribly against the Wizards as the Lakers got smacked around in Washington. How in the world do you fix that? I have no clue, and no solution for him, I am pretty much reduced to prayer and hope at this point. I don’t think that he needs to change his shot. Not that I don’t think trying to incorporate a more traditional shooting form would be a bad thing. I just don’t think its something that you try to implement during a season. If he is already struggling with his shot as it is, imagine how it’s going to be when he starts thinking about and focusing on mechanics of a shot that is unnatural to him. If any shot tinkering is going to happen than it is most likely to take place during the summer.
Also it would be one thing if he couldn’t hit from distance with any consistency, or even long twos. He is missing a bunch of layups around the rim, and easy shots in the key. He made these shots at an extremely high clip during his brief tenure at UCLA, it was a staple in his offensive repertoire. However in the NBA he has not been able to hit any shots consistently within a few feet of the bucket. So far for the season he is shooting just 29% from the field and 22% from three through 12 games, and a paltry 50% from the free throw line. I haven’t been the most patient Laker fan, but I have been saying give him time, maybe 20-25 games in the league before we start to get to judgemental…but damn! I did not expect him to be this bad out the gate. I still have hope that things may come around for him, but admitting that the situation is in his head was not a good look. Of course players in the league are going to attack that and try to do things to make him further question himself, his approach, and his ability in terms of shooting.
Despite his shooting woes, it would be unfair if I did not mention that he has surpassed my expectations as far as his defensive ability and rebounding go. He is the passer that I thought he would be, which is a good thing, because I think he is an excellent passer and playmaker. He is still going to have to be able to hit a shot and be a threat to score if he wants to really be able to excel in other phases of the game and have a larger impact on what happened during the course of a game for the Lakers.
Which leads me into tonight’s matchup against a motivated and vengeful Eric Bledsoe and the Milwaukee Bucks. I have my concerns with how things could go for Lonzo if he is still feeling down on himself, or whatever it is that is going on. Lonzo had is one good game of the year against Bledose while he was a member of the Phoenix Suns. I’m sure he is going to want to atone for that performance, as well as impress his new team with is play, all while letting Lonzo know that the lesson game was an anomaly. Or, maybe just maybe, Lonzo sees Eric Bledsoe, remembers what he did to him last time, and something sparks inside of him to propel him out to great things. I mean, hey, I am praying on the situation so maybe a higher being throws a miracle the Lakers way.
However Bledsoe won’t be the biggest issue for the Lakers tonight. The main problem they have is how are they going to deal with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will here on out be referred to as (GA). He just had another stellar game as he dropped 28 & 12 on the Spurs during a Bucks victory. He is averaging 31 pts 10 rebs, 5 assist, to go with 1.8 blks, 1.5 steals with a PER that is through the roof at 32.72. Brandon Ingram has been playing very well on defense, but good luck with that. Lakers are going to have to put forth a total team effort just to slow this guy down, and even then it may not be enough.
I had an optimistic outlook on this trip, thought the Lakers could get through it at 2-2, but man, I’m not feeling to confident about that happening at this point. I don’t have the Lakers winning tonight unless Lonzo is able to fix his jumper, and the Bucks have an off night. – JD