What we do know about the Lakers is that Lonzo Ball is the third-best rookie on the squad and incorporating him back into the flow when he returns from his MCL sprain won't be as easy as it was presumed when he went out 11 games ago. At this point, he's behind Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart as far as rookie impact goes.
Feels good to be home just wish I was playing 🙃
The Lakers’ highly-hyped No.1 pick is working his way back into action and reports say he was able to put in a workout Monday, though his coach Luke Walton noted that the 20-year-old point guard was limited to non-contact activity. Until Ball puts in a full-court, full-contact practice, the Lakers won't clear him to play.
And if I’m Lakers management, I don't want him back anytime soon for several reasons.
The first being, LaVar Ball doesn’t have as much to talk about and has been relatively quiet these past few weeks. He’s out in Lithuania getting all of the adulation and control he craves. His sons are the shiznit out there and it seems as if most people are scrambling to please him out there. He’s in an alternate reality that makes him very comfortable.
With Lonzo out, he can neither praise him nor criticize the Lakers, and that silence has led to a peace in Los Angeles, a newfound anonymity almost that has allowed them to truly focus and develop team chemistry without the shadow of the Big Baller Brand, distractions, boisterous mouths, disgruntled fans or hyped up expectations.
Secondly, Ball’s MCL sprain has allowed ex-Villanova star Josh Hart, a product of Washington, DC's Sidwell Friends School, to get playing time and develop. With Ball being anointed the savior and starting guard before he ever stepped on the floor, Hart was overlooked and buried on the pine for the most part. Kyle Kuzma and Ball were the rookies who have gotten most of the playing time and media recognition.
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With averages of 14.7 points and a whopping 12.3 rebounds in his last three outings, the 6-foot-5 Hart is showcasing the toughness that made him a star and NCAA champion in college.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle after the Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 112-93, talked about Josh Hart's third double-double in three starts, Brandon Ingram's efficient night and what to expect against Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday. Help us bring you even more coverage by SUBSCRIBING TO OUR CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/user/lakersnationdotcom/?sub_confirmation=1 Kobe Bryant's Most Savage Practice EVER!!!
Hart is a supreme baller. He shoots way better than Lonzo and he’s shown that he needs less of a rookie learning curve than Ball. Hart polished his skills with four years highly-competitive college ball and got significantly better each season. He blends his basketball intelligence and maturity with a hard-nosed style.
I put "14 rebounds" in the title of the video just because it blows my mind that a guy of Hart's size can just go out and get fourteen rebounds like it's nothing. It's not because the fourteen rebounds are actually represented in this video. They're not.
While Ball receives rock star media attention and tries to navigate his way through a tough rookie season, Hart’s experience and pedigree as a leader and champion lends itself to winning now and fits nicely into the nucleus that the Lakers, who have won 11 of their last 15 games following Tuesday’s 112-93 mashing of the Phoenix Suns, are creating.
Lonzo has been the focal point of the Lakers season until this point, and now everything seems better in LA. When he returns he might be facing even less playing time than before. I guess that’s when LaVar will make his grand return to the states and start stirring stuff up in Tinseltown again.