Los Angeles Lakers second overall pick Lonzo Ball failed to impress in his Las Vegas Summer League debut, as he shot 2-of-15 from the field in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Things quickly changed as he notched two triple-doubles and had a 36-point outburst while flirting with another triple-double.
The Lakers lost their first two games in Summer League, but they won their remaining six games and were crowned the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League champions. Ball impacted the dynamic of the team with his infectious passing and his incredible numbers earned him the Summer League Most Valuable Player award according to Lakers:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 18, 2017
Ball’s overall impact on the game was felt whenever he was on the floor, leading by example and willing the Lakers to victory. He said that the his goal for Summer League was to ‘win the whole thing’ and he did just that.
Ball left the semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks early with a mild right-calf strain, but not before he racked up 16 points and 10 assists in just 21 minutes. The Lakers were able to hold on and win without their point guard and advance to the championship game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The calf strain kept Ball out of the championship game, but his overall performance in Summer League was enough to earn him the honor. Fellow rookie and No. 27 overall pick Kyle Kuzma, who has been equally as impressive, earned Summer League Second Team honors and led the Lakers to victory in the championship game with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Ball and Kuzma developed some chemistry over the course of the week, as the two frequently connected on full-court passes that resulted in layups or dunks. Kuzma has a serious chance to crack the team’s 2017-18 NBA regular season rotation, and the duo could be dynamic for years to come.