Lonzo Ball: I feel like shots are going to fall

By David Kenyon

Lonzo Ball is battling a dreadful shooting start to his NBA career, but the Los Angeles Lakers rookie isn’t concerned about the struggles.

The point guard appeared on the Mason and Ireland Show (h/t Lakers Nation) and said he’s confident the shots are going to fall.

“I’m just missing shots. I definitely like the looks I’m getting. Most of them are wide open, people are going under screens. I feel like they’re going to fall. Just have to keep shooting and shooting with confidence.”

Ball is absolutely correct in saying he’s getting open looks. Of the 208 attempts he has hoisted, 111 have happened with the nearest defender no closer than four feet.

Unfortunately for the UCLA product, he is 11-of-43 (25.6 percent) from long distance and 29-of-71 (40.8 percent) overall when the defender is between four and six feet, according to NBA.com. Plus, Ball is 8-of-36 (22.2 percent) and 8-of-40 (20.0 percent) overall when the closest man is six feet or farther.

Through 18 games, Ball is shooting 23.0 percent from three-point range, 30.8 from the field and 46.2 percent at the free-throw line. That, quite literally, is historically bad — and no amount of hard coaching from the Lakers can change that rapidly.

According to Basketball-Reference, Ball is currently the only rookie in the NBA’s 71 years to average 10 field-goal attempts with a three-point percentage below 30, overall mark under 40 and a sub-60 mark from the charity stripe.

The only player ever to finish a season with similarly horrid shooting percentages is Vander Blue, who only appeared in two games for the 2014-15 Lakers that finished with 61 losses. It’s not even fair to include Blue.

Ball needs to continue taking the open looks, and his success at UCLA suggests the shots actually will begin falling soon.