Lonzo Ball tweaked an ankle by landing on a teammate’s foot during a scrimmage towards the end of Friday afternoon’s practice, and the coaches told him to go to the training room after noticing him limping.
That leaves L.A.’s starting point guard a question mark to play in Saturday night’s game at Sacramento.
“Hopefully it’s nothing serious,” said Luke Walton. “We got him out of the end of practice. He went in and got some treatment, and I haven’t seen him yet since."
Last season, L.A. had only South Bay Lakers two-way player Alex Caruso to turn to when Ball got injured, and while Caruso provided some good minutes, Walton said they’re much deeper in that aspect this season. Rajon Rondo tops that list, and he’d most likely start if Ball can’t play.
“We felt last year when (Lonzo) got hurt, we were searching for that guy, we finally put Brandon at point guard and that kind of helped us get going again,” said Walton. “This year, we have options to go to if he is out, or if later in the season if other people get hurt, we have guys who we’re very confident can play that point guard position for us. From Brandon, to LeBron (James), to Lance (Stephenson), even Svi (Mykhailiuk), I mean Svi played point guard for his (Ukrainian) national team. We have a lot of guys we feel confident with.”
Walton mentioned Ball’s ankle tweak after being asked about where he thinks Lonzo is at generally at this point of the season.
“He’s good … we had a nice talk today,” said the coach. “We love where he’s at and the progression he’s making. Hopefully (the ankle is) fine, but overall, we’re very pleased with where he’s at."
Walton thinks Rondo and LeBron can provide a lot for the 21-year-old, who’s averaging 9.0 points, 4.8 boards, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on 44 percent shooting and 38.8 percent from three in 26.1 minutes per game.
“I think it’s great to have these guys on the team with him right now,” he concluded. “We have two of the best playmakers in the league with Rondo and LeBron on the team. Just constantly being around and hearing the way they talk, and experiencing first hand – if you ask either one of these guys where any of the five people on the court are going to be on a certain play, they’ll be able to tell you. That’s what you need out of your point guard, and Lonzo has that ability, he has that understanding of the game. But I think he’s getting some great experience right now as far as the half court execution stuff we’re talking about.”
Expect an update on Lonzo’s ankle and his availability for the Kings game after Saturday morning’s shootaround.