The Lakers tried to force a square peg into a round hole last season.
Lonzo Ball came out of UCLA an unconventional point guard — he pushed the ball in transition, kept the ball moving in the half-court, worked well off the ball (with the Pacers’ Aaron Holiday) and shot the ball well in catch-and-shoot opportunities because he had time to get his feet set and get the shot off. The Lakers had Ball running the pick-and-roll (29.2 percent of his used possessions, meaning a shot, assist or turnover), which was never his biggest strength, and while 22.6 percent of his shots were spot up (according to NBA.com stats) he was not efficient at them shooting 35.5 percent, and he struggled when closed out upon.
With LeBron James and Rajon Rondo on the Lakers now, Ball will have fewer half-court playmaking duties, but he’s got to be a real threat to score off the ball to stay on the court. He’s a smart cutter off the ball (or was at UCLA) but the shot has to fall.
Which brings us to the video of his reworked shot.
He’s still a right-handed shooter who is left-eye dominant, so he has to bring the ball across himself to get it lined up correctly, but he’s tweaked his shot mechanics to do that in a much quicker and more fluid way.
Will that translate to better shooting numbers from three? We will have to wait for some game action to find out, but he can potentially develop into a fit on this roster, a player who can contribute to a contending team. If not… well Josh Hart was very impressive at Summer League. The Lakers are in win-now mode, if a player can’t contribute to that their role will shrink fast.