While the world outside the Lakers locker room has been entirely too focused on his bombastic father, Lonzo Ball has grown during his rookie season. Part of that is a comfort level with his shot — he is shooting better than 40 percent from three since Dec. 1 (he missed time in there due to injury). It’s not that his release is quicker, it’s just he understands better now how to get space and not rush it. Beyond that, the game has slowed down for him — he’s got great passing instincts but was making rushed and poor decisions early in the season, particularly on drives to the rim. Now he looks settled.
Just as Gregg Popovich and the Spurs — Ball hit two key threes late that put the Lakers ahead then sank the dagger in San Antonio on Saturday night. The Lakers beat the Spurs 116-112, with Ball having 18 points and 11 assists, and Julius Randle scoring 25.
The Lakers are hustling on defense and figuring out how to use their length, they are moving the ball on offense, and they have gone 16-7 in their last 23. They’re not going to climb back into the playoff race at this point, but they are developing into something.