We know Lonzo Ball is a triple double threat every time he steps on the hardwood. His high IQ, precision passing & his ability to affect the game on both sides of the ball (pun intended) in ways that don't always show up on the stat sheet have helped the Bulls to a 10-4 record which is second best to a surprising 10-3 Washington Wizards squad in the NBA's Eastern Conference. His last season in New Orleans he was taken out of his element as the point guard and really relegated to a "3 & D" guy from then head coach Stan Van Gundy. While he was trying to lock in to his new role and do whatever Van Gundy asked of him, he learned some things about himself and grew as a player. "I didn't take it as a demotion. They believed that was what was best for the team so I just went with it. I'm not the type of guy that's going to pout. I'm gonna do what's asked of me the best I can. I think I did that. I think it also helped me grow as a player. It was a new position for me pretty much and I think I did a pretty good job," Ball said.
Back on his square as the lead guard, Ball has been that dude so far this season in Chicago. He's averaging 12, 5 & 5 in 35 minutes while shooting a career high 44% from distance. He's hit at least three in 8 of the Bulls first 14 games and seven, twice in the last 4 games. When Ball is cooking early, he adds another viable scoring option to the Bulls offense that averages 108.6 ppg and is 3rd in the league shooting 46.8% from the field.
"I trust him because he's a high IQ player and he's smart. He knows how to play the game. He's got a really good shot selection and understanding of his game. I think the encouragement of him playing downhill and being aggressive is something that I think can help DeMar & Zach as a playmaker." said Billy Donovan when I asked if he encourages Zo to be more aggressive offensively or if he trusts him to just go out there and get a feel of the game himself and take it from there.
Zo isn't a guy who's gonna finish at the rim a lot and he's not a huge pick & roll or isolation guard but the ability to shoot the ball at a high clip is a plus. He's been dynamic defensively as well leading the fast break. It'll be interesting to watch his growth in the half court getting his team into sets especially when they face bigger teams. Having him control the flow when he's out there has helped Zach Lavine tremendously. Lavine doesn't have to do as much ball handling as he did in the past and now he can focus on taking his all-around game to the next level which ultimately shows in winning basketball.