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Lonzo Ball.

3 things Lonzo Ball must do to fix the slow start to his rookie season

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The Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA star point guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but the results haven't been what the team expected so far.

Through eight games, the rookie has averaged 9.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists - good numbers, to be fair, but not what the Lakers anticipated.

At 3-5 on the season, there is little chance the Lakers will compete for a playoff spot this year, but it will be important for the star point guard to improve as the year goes on.

Coming off a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night in which he scored zero points, Ball still has a lot of room to grow his game.

However, it's still early in the season, obviously, so there's no reason to panic just yet. It would be ridiculous to give up on Ball already.

Still, these are three things Ball needs to do in order to turn around the slow start to his rookie campaign.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Find shots for himself

Coming into the season, we knew Ball was a pass-first point guard who would be unselfish when he had the ball in his hands.

However, after a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, it's clear Ball has been too unselfish. He made some nice passes in the game, but finished 0-for-2 from the field and didn't score a single point.

Even Lakers coach Luke Walton told ESPN.com after the game that he wants Ball to be a little more aggressive looking for his own shot moving forward:

"I thought he was a little too passive tonight," Walton said. "I think that'll continue to be ... the hardest thing for young players is the consistency when you just play so many games. He's so unselfish. We want him to be more aggressive with attacking the defenses. I feel like tonight was one of those nights where he was more passive with it than looking to really attack them."

Getting to the rim for some easy baskets would be a good start, but Ball definitely needs to start making some shots or he's only going to continue to lose confidence.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Create more fast-break opportunities

Ball isn't known as the best defender by any means, but he is averaging a steal per game so far, so he needs to start turning those opportunities into fast-break points.

Whether he scores or he dishes it off to a teammate to score doesn't matter - what matters is getting easy points on the board for the Lakers.

Right now, the most important thing for the young guard is to build his confidence, and nothing does that like making easy baskets and creating the same opportunities for teammates.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Get to the free-throw line

One of the easiest ways to score in the NBA is to get to the free-throw line. Top scorers like LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and many others all know that and make drawing fouls a big part of their game.

However, Ball hasn't even attempted a free throw in his last four games, which is surprising. For the year, he's gone 5-for-9 from the charity stripe, which is a comically low number of attempts for a player who touches the ball as much as Ball.

Getting into the lane and drawing some contact isn't a huge part of Ball's game, but it's something he'll need to do if he wants to turn his slow start around in the coming weeks.

Topics:
NBA
NBA Playoffs
Western Conference
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
NBA Draft

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