New Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball has taken some heat in his career, mostly for his strange shooting motion and outspoken family, but entering his fifth season in the league, he is becoming a stellar NBA player.
“When you’ve got a point guard of that magnitude with that IQ that’s as unselfish as he is, he makes the game easier and it makes it fun. And it becomes contagious,” teammate DeMar DeRozan said after last night’s preseason game. “You saw the way we moved the ball. It’s been like that all through training camp, and we expect it to keep getting better.”
Thanks in large part to Ball’s court vision and pass-first playmaking ability, the Bulls posted an incredible 36 assists against just nine turnovers last night in their 131-95 trouncing of the Cavs in the season’s first preseason game.
Bulls small forward and top scorer Zach LaVine also loved Ball’s debut with the team.
“We’ve had some good chemistry in practice. To come out here and play with pace, have Lonzo get the ball off the rim and run, it’s good. It fits our game pretty well,” LaVine said. “He gets the ball out of his hands so fast. He’s such a high IQ guy. I think we’re all in the right mindset of going out here and playing hard, setting the tone from the beginning. So it’s been a treat to play with him.”
Ball posted eight points, five assists and five rebounds to go along with active defense, but always deflected personal questions in his postgame presser back to praise for the team.
“Just from the first two weeks that we’ve been together, I’ve kind of seen this coming,” Ball said. “I just know that we have a lot of talent. There’s only one basketball out there and we understand that and it’s all about getting the best shot. I think everybody gets that 1 through 15 and we showed that.
“I think it was fun for all of us to get out there for the first time especially in front of the fans and stuff. We’re going to try and put a show on for them every time.”
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Bulls regular season win total sits at a paltry (43.5), which equates to just six games over .500 for a winning ticket. The team is loaded with talent; the question this offseason was always about chemistry and defense. Clearly, the players enjoy competing together, so if they can avoid too many poor shooting nights and clamp down on the defensive end, this total should hit with ease.
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