The Lonzo Ball era kicked off for the Lakers last night at the Staples Center against the Clippers, and if his performance was a glimpse into the future, the future doesn’t look very bright. After wearing the Clippers’ newly-acquired defensive-stopper Patrick Beverly like a cheap suit, Ball was only allowed to eke out 3 points on 1-6 shooting, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The Clippers beat the Lakers 108-92 behind 29 points and 12 rebounds from Blake Griffin and 14 points and 24 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan. And it wasn’t that close. The Lakers got double-digit scoring from Larry Nance Jr. (14), Jordan Clarkson (18), Brandon Ingram (12) and Brook Lopez, who led the team with 20 points.
Ball played 29:21 in his first game since suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 2. He missed three shots in the first quarter before hitting a three-pointer in the second quarter for his first NBA points. The Lakers, for the most part, looked frightened, out of sync and lost, all at the same time. Luke Walton had no answers for the awful play of his young team. There was no defense, no discernible offense and mostly one on one basketball. Maybe we can chalk it up to opening night jitters, but the Lakers’ future looks to be way in the distance at this point.