Lonzo Ball has been having a terrible time in the bubble.
The New Orleans Pelicans qualified for the NBA bubble in Orlando, and it was easy to see the league was hoping Zion Williamson’s club could fight for that eighth playoff spot. Things have not gone according to plan.
The Pelicans are 2-4 in the bubble and need a miracle to reach the play-in tournament. While Williamson and Brandon Ingram have done well, one key player has struggled. That is Lonzo Ball.
Lonzo Ball having no luck in Orlando
Ball has been a disaster. He has not reached 10 points in any of the six games even though he is averaging just under 30 minutes per game. The most field goals he has made in any game is four, and the point guard shot 2-for-10 in his most recent game, Sunday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
The guard only averages 10.7 points per game throughout his career, but did start to heat up in March with an average of 20.8 points per game before the shutdown.
It is tough to win when a starter is getting significant minutes and isn’t scoring. He has had two games with at least 10 assists, but he is still not getting to the free-throw line and has hit five 3s in six games. Scoring is the way to win, and Pelicans opponents have scored at least 122 points in three of the team’s four losses.
Ball is hoping for a big new contract in 2021, and his play so far in his career has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot. The Los Angeles Lakers were able to flip him in a package for Anthony Davis, and the Pelicans may still be searching for a point guard of the future to pair with Williamson if Ball doesn’t pan out here soon.
The 22-year-old has never been advertised as a prolific scorer. But that doesn’t mean the Pelicans need to invest heavily in someone who averages 10 points and around seven assists per game.
Play in the Orlando bubble is unique and it is not entirely fair to project those six games onto Ball’s entire career. Yet it is not like every player is struggling, and this may be a sign of Ball’s true ceiling in New Orleans.