Lonzo Ball has been at his most effective this season in the last few wins for the Los Angeles Lakers, as head coach Luke Walton made what can now be seen as a brilliant tactical decision to get Ball more involved in the action by having him screen for LeBron James.
This schematic change has forced Ball to be more aggressive and involved in the offense for the Lakers, and allowed the rest of the little things he does for the team to shine through.
But don't just take my word for it. The brilliant Pete "Laker Film Room" Zayas is here to show you so I don't have to just tell.
To steal a phrase out of Pete's book: Let's take a closer look.
From screening for LeBron James to playing excellent defense, Lonzo Ball is doing all of the little things that @LakerFilmRoom says make him so valuable for the Lakers.https://t.co/ISVtRTy1Of pic.twitter.com/4VSCHut7i1— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) November 16, 2018
Ball's brilliance has always been in how he wins on the margins. He isn't as hopeless as some seem to think as a scorer, but even the biggest Ball optimists know he'll never make his bones by lighting up the scoreboard on his own. What he will do, though, is ensure his team lights their opponents up.
From screening for LeBron, to igniting the Lakers' transition attack, to bothering point guards like Trae Young and Damian Lillard, Ball may not consistently out-duel his opposition on the stat sheet individually, but he's always been willing to do whatever little things it takes so his team can get the collective win. He loses a couple battles, but allows his team to win so many other ones that they take the war.
So give up on him after a slow start if you want, but if Ball keeps doing things like this, he is the perfect decisive and low usage point guard that a contending team with multiple star scorers needs. If the Lakers plan is indeed to build that sort of roster, they would be wise to keep Ball around for it.