Lonzo Ball became a 3pt sniper this season2021|04:13
Let’s play a quick game. Who would you guess is the best 3 point shooter this year out of these players? Is it a) Jayson Tatum, b) Trae Young or c) Lonzo Ball. The correct answer is staggering for people that haven’t really watched the Pelicans, since Lonzo has been on fire lately, and is actually by far the best out of this bunch for the season. So let’s check out what’s going on with his shot. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it. First things first: This is neither by accident, nor happened overnight. Lonzo was known for his spectacular airballs in his rookie season and ended it on a bad 30.5%, but ever since then, as you can see, he’s been steadily improving each year, especially once he came to New Orleans. At the moment, at almost 40% on such high attempts, he is a legit nice shooter from downtown. And when you look at his shooting chart and see that Ball’s taken 240 shots from outside, and only 140 from inside the three point line, it’s clear that this is his style of play at least in this Pelicans system. As you may have noticed from thes e highlights, it’s almost exclusively catch and shoot. On this high pick and roll, Ingram does a good job of keeping his defender on his back, so that puts Lopez in a 1 on 2 situation. Conaughton has to help, Ingram finds Lonzo with the pass and he knocks down the open look. Again, right here on the block, Dillon Brooks has no chance defending here, so help comes, Ball moves up to create a better angle, the pass the shot and the swish. Assists by Brandon Ingram or Zion is typically how Lonzo gets these looks. Which is cool that he doesn’t try to do too much and complicate things, but at the same time it shows his limitations offensively. For example, although Lonzo has great vision and is quick to make decisions and throw great passes in the open floor, he cannot drive past defenders and be a threat off the dribble. And as a point guard, in the half court, there’s only so much that you can do. So lately, Stan Van Gundy has put the basketball in the hands of Ingram and even Williamson more and more, to act as the defacto point guards. Which leaves Lonzo as a spot up jump shooter. Now, the fact that he is shooting almost 40% from beyond the arc so far is great however is this going to be his long term role, and the player that he will become? At the moment that works only because of this high percentage, but I don’t know if he can sustain it. His record does show an upwards trajectory and improvement year after year, but I have to mention that his shots weren’t falling at the start of the season and that almost made him useless for the team so trade rumors immediately started to surface. Now all of that has died down, but again, will it last? Ball needs to develop his driving and overall inside game just to be more versatile and a threat for the defense. There are a lot of guys on this team that are good players but that cannot create shots for themselves. Starting with Lonzo, Adams, Reddick, and even Bledsoe. At times, all of these players are out there on the floor, and you can imagine that this is a big part of their struggles so far this season. But to end things on a positive note, his teammates have been raving about his defense. He literally saved a game against the Pacers with his quick reaction as a help defender. Sees the play develop, reacts, great discipline with the vertical jump straight up, and the game winning stop. His effort and willingness to defend are noticeable on the court, and when you combine that with his length for that position, that’s a recipe for a good defensive player. At 15-19 the Pelicans are still going through some growing pains. Whether it’s the lack of shot creation, or just figuring things out, Lonzo Ball plays a big role on this team and he could definitely help them get to the next level. And I will always believe in a player that has shown he’s a hard worker, steadily improving, and team oriented. Just like Zo. That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.