Expectations are high in Los Angeles this preseason after the Lakers selected star point guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Lakers finished with the third-worst record in the NBA last season, but with Ball as the new face of the franchise, that's expected to quickly change this year.
However, through two preseason games, the Lakers are 0-2 and Ball has struggled, missing a vast majority of the shots he's attempted.
Still, it's the preseason, so wins and losses don't matter. Lakers coach Luke Walton told ESPN.com that he has been pleased with the rookie point guard and simply wants him to be more aggressive in looking for his own shot:
"Lonzo is so gifted as far as the way he always makes everyone on the court a threat," Walton said. "With him, we have been working on that. He is so unselfish that sometimes he has good shots for himself and he tries to get someone else a shot. We want him taking those.
"We are looking for him to be a little more aggressive to score the ball, especially early on. I thought he was great the way he was moving around out there and getting people involved."
Indeed, through two games, Ball has 12 assists, but only 13 points. The Lakers will love the assist numbers, but Walton would also like to see him put up more points.
For now, though, Ball's shots simply aren't falling, as he's hit only five of his 15 shot attempts. He said he feels like he's getting good shots, but he simply needs to work his way into a rhythm at the NBA level:
"I think they were good shots," Ball said. "A lot of shots I felt were great shots, guys just missed shots, including myself. It is going to take time. Playing fast like that definitely takes a toll on you. Once we get used to it, we will be OK.
"I don't like that we lost, but I do like that we are starting to get a foundation now. ... We got a little tired, so we got to get in shape and keep going at it. First time out there, it felt all right."
The Lakers will likely be big players on the free-agent market next offseason, targeting stars like Paul George and possibly even LeBron James. This year, though, the Lakers are Ball's team, and he needs to prove he can get the franchise going in the right direction before reinforcements arrive.