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Lonzo Ball struggles in NBA premiere but future is bright for the Lakers

Henry Golden

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The 2017 NBA Summer League is in full swing and recently drafted rookies and free agents are beginning to start their NBA careers. One of those rookies is the number two overall pick from this years draft Lonzo Ball who played in his first NBA game last night versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

Lonzo Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers mostly because of his amazing passing abilities although he has shown that he can score the ball and be a reliable scorer when needed. However, with game one of his NBA career under his belt last night in the Las Vegas Summer League it showed that it is tough playing against NBA bodied players and not just some guys in college.

He struggled shooting from the floor going 2-15 and an abysmal 1-11 from three-point range for a grand total of five points. He may have struggled shooting the ball last night especially with his unorthodox jump shot on full display but he did put on a show while distributing the ball with easy and giving his teammates an easy bucket or a good look for a jump shot. He dished out a team high 5 assists including a heave from the three-point arc to second year player Brandon Ingram for a sensational two handed dunk.

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The Los Angeles Lakers may have dropped their first summer league game of the year to the Clippers (96-93 F/OT) but second year man Brandon Ingram was nothing short of spectacular.

When he played last year as a rookie he looked mostly scared, uncomfortable while on the floor and did not really meet expectations when he was hyped up as the new Kevin Durant coming out of his freshman year at Duke. However, last night was much different. Ingram was tough, he demanded the ball and took charge of the game. He drove to the basket with ease and even showed off a little of his post moves while scoring a game high 26 points (9-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt), dished out three assists and even contributed on the defensive end and had three steals two block shots. He used his length just like Kevin Durant to get to the basket quicker than the defender that is guarding him. Yes he still has much to improve on which includes a quicker release on his jump shot but no one can deny he is well on his way to becoming something special and being a pure leader this coming season and definitely will be an all-star in a few years down the road.

This Los Angeles Lakers team will be better from last year especially with the addition of Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez, with shooting guard Jordan Clarkson and the improved play from Brandon Ingram along with Julius Randle who will continue to get stronger and more physical in the paint and Larry Nance Jr. getting quality buckets off the bench the Lakers will probably be around six to ten wins better which would seed them around eleventh or twelfth with 32 to 36 wins in the loaded Western Conference. However, that win total will continue to grow and grow over the next three to five years.

The Los Angeles Lakers will not make the playoffs this coming season or even the next three seasons for that matter but no one can deny that in a few years the Los Angeles Lakers with the direction Magic Johnson has them on they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Henry Golden covers the UAlbany men's basketball team for the Upstate Courier, as well as other various sporting events in the Capital Region. He currently attends Sage College of Albany. He can be reached through social media, @Golden_Henry05 on Twitter.