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Lonzo Ball discussion thread

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Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#1 » by coldfish » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:10 pm

Lonzo was one of the big acquisitions this summer and really doesn't get a lot of discussion. There were people who adamantly wanted and didn't want him before he signed. IMO, he has kind of ended up in the middle of where people thought.

Good:
- His defense both on ball and off ball is excellent. IMO, he is the tip of the spear on defense and is a big reason why the Bulls are so much better.
- He looks down court. The fact that the players know they have a point guard who will reward them for hustling down is leading to people hustling down the court. Its a self feeding cycle, IMO. This is a big contributor to the offensive improvement.
- He has become a good spot up shooter. When he gets an open 3, I have a lot of confidence its going in.
- Really smart player. He doesn't try to do dumb things. Again, I think that he is a big part of the reason the turnovers are down.
- Good rebounder for a PG and helps there, particularly on defense.

Bad:
- His handle is surprisingly bad and he isn't particularly athletic. As a result, he really has trouble creating for himself or others in the half court.

Overall, I would say that Ball has been a significant positive and I'm glad he is on Chicago. I do think that his half court struggles are a surprise to some though.

Thoughts?
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#2 » by MGB8 » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:22 pm

In my best Denny Green voice: "He is who we thought he was."

The negative is that, despite some very limited flashes in the first couple of games, it doesn't look like his game has evolved from what it was in New Orleans with respect to half court.

The positive is that his defense, which I thought was overrated, seems (at least when he's giving full effort) to have been as good as advertised - which is really a huge indictment on how bad the Pelicans' other players defend. Now, he does have stretches where it looks like he isn't giving 100% effort on D - those have to end.

The open question is whether, and if so, how much, room to grow he has in terms of his half-court offense, given that he's still pretty young (turned 24 less than 2 weeks ago) and has shown flashes of half-court savvy (more with the Lakers, but also on occasion with the Pels). Just like you've seen Gary Payton II and Cam Payne turn themselves into NBA players, or LaVine improve of the last coupe of years... Lonzo just really needs to work on his handle and that will do wonders for him. He's no less athletic than, say, Spencer Dinwiddie or Malcolm Brodgon.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#3 » by DuckIII » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:26 pm

He’s Draymond Green at point guard. His positive impact on the game is massive relative to his statistical output. I agree that he is what I thought he was: pretty close to a perfect point guard to play next to Lavine.

Hugely successful signing so far.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#4 » by dougthonus » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:27 pm

MGB8 wrote:In my best Denny Green voice: "He is who we thought he was."


I think my podcast partner cut it off due to a recording issue, but I used the exact same phrase when we were arguing about Ball on the big red bus. Ball is more or less exactly who we thought he was, and that is a guy who fits perfectly within this team and his strengths are what we need and his weaknesses are things we can cover up.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#5 » by sco » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:28 pm

Great OP!

Ball has been an unsung hero out there. Billy has done a good job of hiding his weaknesses and maximizing his strengths. I was a bit surprised to see some of his stats, but they are mostly in line with his history:

He's shooting 40% FG (on only 10.7 shots) 41% 3P (on 6.6 shots per game - that one has gone unnoticed by me) 5.4RB, he is only averaging 4.4 Asts with 2.6 TO's (which plays to your ball handling point, but also that he isn't doing that much of the playmaking in the half-court). Defensively he's averaging .9BLK and 1.7STL...he is often guarding the opponents top option.

I think his biggest weakness has been his shooting inside the Arc, and honestly, I think it's because he is often getting those shots as he's the first guy down the court on a fast-break and just doesn't have a good finishing move. I think the best thing for him, would be to just not take shots inside the arc when the Bulls are in the half-court.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#6 » by coldfish » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:37 pm

If I had the ability to give Lonzo advice, it would be to develop a mid to high post game. He is big enough that he could really screw over smaller PG's on him. I think he has the touch to develop those shots and when doubled, he could kill teams with his passing.

Think Andre Miller.

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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#7 » by Little Nathan » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:47 pm

I know many Bulls fans don't want to hear this but he shouldn't run PnRs, especially when DeRozan and/or LaVine are out there with him. He rarely gets to the rim and is terrible from the midrange (honestly, most shots aren't even close), so teams can completely focus on guarding the pass instead of a potential shot. His best offensive role is still clearly to be a catch & shoot weapon in the halfcourt and a playmaker in transition. Off-ball movement needs to get better, though.

Defensively, he's been amazing. Much better than last year, too, especially on-ball.

Very happy with him overall. The defense is key.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#8 » by leo921 » Tue Nov 9, 2021 2:58 pm

Love his defense and 3 pt shooting but there is a couple things that I would love to see him work on to help with his and the Bulls scoring and those are:

-More cuts to the basket. He is always looking for the 3 and that helps but he should cut more to draw attention or the bucket. If he is covered on the cut then go back to the 3 pt line for the spot up.

- Post up. For a PG he is a massive. He can take a lot of these 6-6'2 PG in the post and dominate them. He will need some time to work on it but can see him both score down low and also draw doubles then using his vision to pick apart the defense.

-Picks. Think running a high pick and roll with Lavine would be interesting. If they double Lavine then he gets the ball in the middle of the floor and can drive and score or drive and pass. Would confuse the defense as they are not use to defending PG/SG pick and roll
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#9 » by Tetlak » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:05 pm

He's exactly what the Pelican scouting reports said, except for that he is actually an all-nba defender.

He desperately needs to continue his development. He's not a threat with the ball, and he has almost no game inside the arc. If he's not catching and shooting, he's not scoring.

It seems like he does have more freedom here, so hopefully he can get better in those areas.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#10 » by Shill » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:12 pm

If Lonzo consistently plays at this level, the acquisition was a success.

If he makes any improvements to his game (like he did with his shooting), then he'll be an absolute steal.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#11 » by kodo » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:22 pm

I think Lonzo's 3P shooting was proven last seasons with NOP. His passing vision & touch was never questioned. The thing that he was really criticized for was his defense.

As his jumper has improved, though, his defensive game might not be making the same strides. In a recent piece in The Athletic ranking the upcoming NBA free agents, Sam Amick and John Hollinger cited an anonymous scout that was not high on Ball’s defense.

“He’s just not an impactful defender (right now).”

Statistics still don’t do a great job of representing an individual player’s impact defensively. His individual defensive rating of 115.4 is one of the worst on the team this year


I suspected Lonzo's defensive impact was incredibly bad because of his teammates and the coaching, but it was definitely a risk. And many people, including Bulls fans, said a team with Lavine, Derozan, Lonzo, and Vucevic would be one of the worst defenses in the league. We're #4.

Defense isn't offense, which is based on individual talent and largely the same from team to team. Defense is mostly teamwork and actually team culture. Props to Billy for developing both in Chicago, it has unlocked Lonzo's ability to be a great defender that was missing in NOP.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#12 » by HoopsterJones » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:41 pm

He’s a 3 and D PG so far. I’d like to see him be a better playmaker at times, but I understand that the big three (Vuc, Zach, DDR) need the ball in their hands to operate.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#13 » by logical_art » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:54 pm

Lonzo needs to spend the next few summers developing a post game. He needs to play the PG position like Payton and Mark Jackson so he can utilize his size. He doesn't have a good first step or enough quickness to create off the dribble, or a good enough handle to be super crafty and get to his spots.

He's 6'6". Go to the post, look over 6'2" guys, and make smart decisions. That should be his game.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#14 » by 2weekswithpay » Tue Nov 9, 2021 3:58 pm

He's helping the team win games so I'm satisfied with his performance so far. His defense is better than expected and he's knocking down his 3s showing that last year wasn't a fluke and that he is a much improved shooter. In the half court he's a bit worse than I expected, I knew the Pelicans moved him off-ball because of this but it's really bad when he tries to create in the half court. He has very loose handles so he struggles to get to the rim and he's bad at finishing when he does get there despite being 6'6.

A very flawed player but he complements the team very well.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#15 » by Salo23 » Tue Nov 9, 2021 4:09 pm

logical_art wrote:Lonzo needs to spend the next few summers developing a post game. He needs to play the PG position like Payton and Mark Jackson so he can utilize his size. He doesn't have a good first step or enough quickness to create off the dribble, or a good enough handle to be super crafty and get to his spots.

He's 6'6". Go to the post, look over 6'2" guys, and make smart decisions. That should be his game.

Shaun Livingston after his knee injuries and later in his career off the bench with those Warriors teams developed into a dangerous mid-range, low-post guy who feasted on smaller guards. I don’t see why Lonzo couldn’t work to emulate Livingston’s game inside the arc.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#16 » by MrSparkle » Tue Nov 9, 2021 4:14 pm

His creation abilities are a downer some times, but overall I think he has gone from a very good defender to a really elite one. My skepticism with the 3-ball is gone as it does seem he's comfortably settled spotting up in high-volume. He's worked on weight/muscle; he does fine defending big forwards.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#17 » by chefo » Tue Nov 9, 2021 4:22 pm

He's about what I thought on O. Which is to say, meh.

I did not expect the D. Whatever incentives they put in his contract, it's lit a fire under his arse on D, which is a nice surprise. He wasn't anywhere near that engaged on D in the Pelican games I happened to watch.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#18 » by Chicago-Bull-E » Tue Nov 9, 2021 4:24 pm

The defense is really impressive. He can guard point guards to wings and even small 4s. For a team that lost its big wing defender in Pat, I think this asset will be big moving forward.

Really struggles a bit at the rim, want him to focus on finishing from the free throw line in.

Also want him to focus on creating a bit more.

But overall the signing to me was a massive success.
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#19 » by sco » Tue Nov 9, 2021 4:29 pm

I think he would be more effective in the 1/2 court if we had a legit 3pt shooting PF. Losing Pat hurt the spacing of our starters on offense (although, I think it helped our defense).
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Re: Lonzo Ball discussion thread 

Post#20 » by panthermark » Tue Nov 9, 2021 5:26 pm

It has already been nailed. He is, who we thought he was.
In a perfect world....or at least a healthy team, he would be a 4th option at best...behind DD, Lavine, Vuc (assuming is playing well), and possibly even Coby (if he were healthy). Those are guys you count on for scoring. Ball is a guy that will score on opportunities and open 3s. My biggest concern is his turn-overs. I knew he wasn't a guy that could create for others off the bounce in the half-court (nor get his own shot). But he needs to be a guy that controls the rock a bit better...and yes, outside of 3's, he needs to cut a bit more (and finish stronger).

Or maybe he should be the screener on pick and pops with DD.
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