Lonzo Ball Shows Slick Passing, Shoots 2-Of-15 in Lakers Summer League Debut

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the LA Clippers on July 7, 2017 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball threw a perfect alley-oop to Brandon Ingram on his first possession in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, and a buzz of excitement immediately filled the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada, which featured a pro-Lakers crowd in their battle with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Ball, the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, finished his Las Vegas Summer League debut with five points on 2-of-15 shooting, five assists and four rebounds in a 96-93 Lakers overtime loss. While he struggled with his shooting stroke, he delivered a series of highlight-reel passes.

Here's a look at the play that got it all started from the Lakers' official Twitter feed:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Lonzo kicks off #LakersSummer with a big-time pass to BI (📺: @SpectrumSN & ESPN) https://t.co/BA0j9Aeflv

Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News provided reaction from LaVar Ball, the guard's outspoken father:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

LaVar Ball on his son: "He still kept his team in the game despite playing his worst game ever."

It was a middling performance overall. For every moment of promise with the ball in his hands, each of which drew an audible reaction from the crowd, there was a missed shot. A better night from the field could have made it more memorable, and likely gotten the Lakers in the win column.

ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton commented on the point guard's passing arsenal:

Kevin Pelton @kpelton

Summer league defenses aren't organized enough to deal with Lonzo Ball's hit-ahead passes. He just got Vander Blue two free throws with one.

John Middlekauff‏ of CSN Bay Area also discussed Ball's distribution ability:

John Middlekauff @JohnMiddlekauff

Lonzo's passing is so elite

He just couldn't find his shot throughout the game, missing 10 of 11 shots from beyond the arc. While that's surely going to lead to some hot takes due to the unorthodox release on his shot, it's most likely just one bad night.

The 19-year-old California native shot 55.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range during his only season at UCLA.

The NBA showcased his first bucket as a Laker, but there weren't many other shooting highlights:


Lonzo Ball is on the board at #NBASummer! WATCH: ESPN https://t.co/7FEi191w4u

Looking ahead, Ball and the Lakers return to action Saturday for a clash with the Boston Celtics. Getting right back out there after a forgettable shooting night is probably the best thing for him. There's no time to dwell on his key misses, especially in the extra period.

Los Angeles and Boston are scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff on Day 2 of the Vegas Summer League. The game will be nationally broadcast by ESPN.