LaVar Ball: Julius Randle should’ve passed to Lonzo Ball for final shot of regulation against Warriors

9 Comments

LaVar Ball has criticized Lonzo Ball‘s Lakers teammates and coaches before.

The preeminent sports dad did it again after the Lakers’ overtime loss to the Warriors last night.

With the game tied and about five seconds left, Julius Randle grabbed a defensive rebound and began to push up-court. Before the Lakers could attack, Luke Walton called timeout. Brandon Ingram then missed against a set Golden State defense, and the Lakers lost in overtime.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

LaVar:

I’ll tell you the crucial point. When Julius got that ball at the end, he should’ve threw it forward. Lonzo had a wide-open layup or a 3-pointer. That’s game. You wouldn’t have went to overtime. That was game.

Julius tried to take too many dribbles, and then they fouled him, or they called timeout. But if he would’ve threw the ball ahead, the coach wouldn’t have called timeout. Even if he did, he can’t call it, because the ball’s in the air. Lonzo was running the lane. Game over. That’s the best time to score, when it’s nine seconds left and your coach don’t call timeout.

Don’t call timeout, because that means you’re scared.

Do the Big Baller move. Don’t call no timeouts.

LaVar alludes to a good point in a vacuum: Scoring against a scrambled defense is easier than scoring against a set defense, even with time to draw up a play. Walton is actually more aggressive than most coaches at attacking in these situations. After the game, he explained his timeout:

Walton, via Lakers Nation:

I was debating that, and once the ball kind of was loose and I looked, it was four-point, maybe five seconds left. I just wanted to make sure that we got a good shot up. And I liked — Brandon was hot. He got to his right hand and got a good look. I think it was Draymond – or maybe Jordan Bell – came over and contested it late. But it’s a feel thing, and right then, normally, I would like to let that play go and let the players kind of use the momentum to try to get something. But it just looked a little too chaotic as we were grabbing the rebound and Julius had it. And I just wanted to make sure we got a good look up.

It was a questionable decision, and I mean that in the truest sense. There’s logic to both sides.

It’s not nearly as cut-and-dry as LaVar made it seem.

Three Warriors were closer to their basket than any Laker when Walton called timeout. Kevin Durant was so far back, he didn’t even appear on the screen:

image

Lonzo kept leaking out after the whistle, giving the appearance of an advantage that didn’t really exist. The Warriors already stopped defending because of the timeout.

Walton’s out-of-timeout play didn’t go great. It was Draymond Green who contested Ingram’s shot, because, as Green said, “he always goes right.” That’s the drawback of playing against a set defense with time to focus on its strategy.

But just because Walton’s timeout didn’t work doesn’t mean not calling timeout would have. The Lakers would have been rushed.

The real question: Were the Lakers more likely to score with or without a timeout in that situation? The answer: I don’t know. We saw only one outcome.

But LaVar, in his typical know-it-all fashion, is using that to “prove” his point.

So much of what LaVar does is just attention-grabbing nonsense that doesn’t matter. See him saying Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry.

But I wonder whether these shots at Lonzo’s teammates and coaches – especially considering the large platform LaVar has built for himself – will ever wear thin in the Lakers locker room.