Ever since arriving into the NBA at the Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball has been handed criticism that he probably doesn’t deserve by the media and the fans.
Expectations on him are now even higher thanks to the arrival of LeBron James, as many now believe the Lakers are right back in playoff contention with some of the best in the Western Conference.
Ball is also overcoming an injury he suffered last season which required him to undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-July.
In order to improve his performances on the court, the point guard tweaked his shooting form and spent time in the weight room and film room this offseason.
Lakers’ president of basketball operations Magic Johnson believes this offseason work will pay off for Ball, as he thinks he will have a ‘breakout season’ for the franchise.
He said, via ESPN: “We didn’t want to bother him [his shot]. I think he decided to do that on his own. And, man, it is beautiful.
“We explained that this is going to be the most important offseason, and while he could be on the court, his shot looked great.
“He is going to be ready to have a breakout season and build on what he did last season, because it was only a couple of things he had to do better, and that was driving to the basket, finish and get the midrange in terms of getting his shot where he is on balance.
“It is not his shot. He just has to be on balance. … I am excited for Lonzo, and he is going to be fine.”
Magic added that Ball’s work in the weight and film room will pay off this season.
Johnson said: “The good thing about Lonzo is he started early, he was in the weight room. He put in the time. And then the one thing we were really blown away with was he wanted to watch film.
“It can’t be us asking him to do that. He had to want it for himself, and he wanted to watch film with me and Rob, and we had three or four sessions. He is starting to understand that he has to be better, and he understood that right after the season.”
Ball is yet to fully recover from his knee surgery from this offseason and could miss the start of the season as a result since he is yet to take part in team scrimmages.
CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.