Green Light Lonzo

Lonzo Ball has a jump shot! No, this isn’t a pre-April fools article. No, this isn’t an alternate dimension. And NO, I am not Lavar Ball. I am just a basketball fan who has started to notice something. When Lonzo first came into the league, his shot was awful. He could make some, but realistically, NBA defenders don’t give you that much space. If you are not accustomed to shooting contested jumpers, you will struggle in the league (not that I’d actually know, but I’ve played enough ball to understand).

Lonzo’s perimeter shooting has been outright impressive this season. He has grown from the kid who couldn’t shoot, to a legitimate NBA three-point shooter. He’s already at his career highs in threes made and attempted … and Lonzo’s percentage has jumped up to 38.3% (53rd in the league). At home, Lonzo turns it up a notch and his percentage jumps to 41.6% from three! Lonzo still shoots 35% on the road, so it’s not like he is 2018 Lonzo away from New Orleans.

SeasonG3PT3PT%
2017/185290/29530.5%
2018/194775/22832.9%
2019/2056*139/36338.3%

*through 3/9/20

Lonzo is also off to a fantastic start to the month of March. Zo is shooting 51% from three in five games this month, averaging 4.4 threes a game. Not attempts. Makes. Lonzo Ball is making five 3-pointers a game! Somewhere, Lavar Ball is screaming “I told you so!”. Not only is Lonzo shooting the ball better, he is healthy and playing consistent basketball. Those two have to go hand-in-hand. If you’re not healthy, you can’t get into a rhythm.

MonthGFGfg%3p3p%
Oct ’19522/53.41512/32.375
Nov ’19624/66.36412/38.316
Dec ’191559/155.38133/88.375
Jan ’201578/193.40439/107.364
Feb ’201038/90.42221/55.382
Mar ’20538/71.53522/43.512

Of course, Lonzo’s goofy-ass father made waves as he said the Lakers would lose to the Pelicans in the playoffs (if they met) because we haven’t seen “Playoff Lonzo”. While it might not be the player Lavar sees when he closes his eyes, I would really like to see “Playoff Lonzo” as well. I always thought he was a special player and despite how he is viewed in Los Angeles, I feel he still is.

I realize that in order to get talent you have to give some up … and the Pelicans have two future stars in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. BI is already an All-Star, Zion will undoubtedly get there next year (he’s too popular … I mean I’d vote for him #voteforzion), and if Lonzo plays like this, he has a shot. It’s a long shot, but just imagine the alley-oops passes Lonzo will throw in an All-Star game. I mean, look what he is doing with Zion in the Big Easy.

Okay, before I sound even more like Lavar, I do need to criticize his free throw shooting, which is awful. It’s not the 41% it was last season, but 52.3% is down right embarrassing. Lonzo still only averages 1 free throw attempt per game and do you blame him? If Lonzo can get that shooting up to 70%, that’s 2-4 more points per game and will him even more valuable in clutch situations.

It seems Lonzo has found his shot, maybe one day we will see him in the 3-point contest.

@rosenthalsports

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