(Photo By: Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)
Lakers vs. Bulls: 3 Things to Know (11/21/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers finish their home stand against the Chicago Bulls.
1) Ball is after the boards
Associate head coach Brian Shaw offered Lonzo Ball a theory that seems to be true: The rookie point guard is more effective overall when he is focused on crashing the glass.
In three games with double-digit rebounds, Ball is currently averaging 20 points, 13 boards, 11 assists and two blocks, while shooting 46 percent from the field and 44 percent on 3-pointers.
Yes, it’s a small sample size, but when Lonzo attacks the boards, he averages a 20-point triple-double on an efficient shooting clip.
Rebounding lets Ball get himself into more of a rhythm since the ball is in his hands to start a possession. Plus, it allows him to show off his trademark skill: playmaking on fast-breaks.
Ball’s rebounding was essential in his triple-double performance during Sunday’s win over Denver, as his 16 boards were the most by a rookie guard in 17 years.
Look for the 6-foot-6 point guard to hit the glass some more against the Bulls.
2) Lakers are looking to fire up the offense again
Ball’s rebounding may have been the spark for the Lakers’ 127 points against the Nuggets, but team ball movement was the fuel.
The purple and gold did an excellent job moving the ball around, totaling 321 passes on the night — 45 more than their season average. The result was a season-best 36 assists and plenty of quality shot attempts.
Julius Randle was instrumental to this extra passing, both on the giving and receiving ends.
Randle poured in a season-high 24 points by hustling down the court in transition and getting deep positioning on post-ups, while mixing in some off-ball cuts and a 3-pointer.
Ten of his 11 baskets came with an assist attached. Meanwhile, he dished out five dimes of his own (also his most for the year).
3) This is Lopez Bowl XVII
Brook Lopez continues his sibling rivalry with twin brother Robin, as the two face each other for the 17th time in their NBA careers.
Robin owns a 9-7 record against his older (by a minute) brother, but Brook always seems to step up his game for a family reunion.
Brook is averaging 20.8 points in games against Robin’s teams, including three outbursts of 30-plus. The (slightly) younger Lopez is averaging 10.0 points.
Brook also has some momentum behind him, having scored 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in that win over the Nuggets.
Lakers: Larry Nance Jr. (fractured second metacarpal, left hand) is out.
Bulls: Zach LaVine (left ACL), Cameron Payne (right foot), Nikola Mirotic (maxillary fractures) and David Nwaba (right ankle sprain) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California