Most people jumped off the bandwagon for LaMelo Ball — the youngest of the Ball brothers — long ago because he got caught up in the Big Baller Brand mess, ended up playing in Lithuania, and there was a perception he loved to score but didn’t enjoy playing defense or putting in the work.
That tide started to turn last year. Reports from people who had seen Ball at the Spire Institute school in Ohio said promising things: Ball was maturing, he was 6’6″ with handles, had gotten serious about his game, and was starting to look like a quality NBA-level prospect. This season, Ball is putting up numbers in the Australian professional league and could well be a high draft pick next June.
“’Melo has a chance to be a better player than me, for sure,” Ball told The Athletic. “I feel at the same age, he’s better than me. In real time, I don’t think he’s better than me.”
Then Ball smiled and said, “But I’m the big brother so I’m always going to have that edge over him.”
LaMelo has a lot to prove still, but he was long considered the most naturally talented of the three. He seems to be tapping into those skills.
Look for a breakout year from Lonzo — if he can just stay healthy. Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo system should fit Ball well. Plus, if you throw alley-oops to Zion Williamson, you end up in a lot of highlights. Ball and Jrue Holiday form one of the best defensive backcourts in the league. This is a real opportunity for Lonzo.
But in five years, we may well think Lonzo was only the second-best baller in his family.
Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk
After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.
Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard goes full monotone to describe blow-by-blow his poster dunk on Daniel Theis and game-sealing block: “What do you want me to say? Patrick threw me the ball, I took two dribbles into the paint and tried to jump high and dunk the basketball.” pic.twitter.com/tKkwC7REmZ
DALLAS (AP) —Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.
Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.
The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.
The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.
The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.
With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.
But Minnesota’s current NBA team – the Timberwolves – appear to be borrowing from that legacy.
The Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms look awfully similar to the Minneapolis Lakers’ throwback:
Of course, the Timberwolves’ explanation contains no mention of the Minneapolis Lakers. The Timberwolves say the icy cool yet sky blue color … reflects the blue waters that are ubiquitous throughout the cities, namely the Mississippi River, which is outlined on the left side of the uniform.” It’s all about celebrating the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP).
The best part: These alternates are officially branded as “City Edition” uniforms. The Timberwolves called theirs “Cities Edition.”