Lonzo Ball on Lakers' Expectations: 'I'm Focused on Making the Playoffs'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

FILE - In this June 23, 2017, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Lonzo Ball speaks during a news conference in El Segundo, Calif. In the midst of the worst stretch in franchise history, the Lakers may have finally found the cornerstone of their future.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are an abysmal 91-237 in the last four seasons, but that didn't stop rookie Lonzo Ball from targeting the playoffs for the 2017-18 campaign.

"I'm focused on making the playoffs," Ball said during Monday's media day, per Harrison Faigen of Lakers Nation.

NBA TV shared more of Ball's comments, including how he thinks his skill set will fit in at the NBA level:

Ball figures to be a central piece of the Lakers attack this season after they selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

He averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in his one season with the UCLA Bruins, leading them to a Sweet 16 appearance. He also demonstrated his skills as a point guard who consistently looks for teammates as he controls the pace of a game, but he's also capable of scoring on his own from either the outside or as a slasher.

Ball already looked the part as the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League MVP, though the level of competition will significantly increase during the regular season.

Still, it will take more than a 19-year-old rookie to lead L.A. to the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference.

There will be pressure on young pieces such as Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to improve, and frontcourt additions Brook Lopez and Andrew Bogut will likely be asked to serve as veteran leaders.

Lopez averaged 20.5 points a night for the Brooklyn Nets last season and could be a go-to option, while Bogut can help control the glass after tallying 8.4 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks last season.

Though it may be Ball's focus, making the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign would be a big ask of the Lakers. Still, their future looks bright, and L.A. will be in good shape if its young playmakers continue to make strides in the coming seasons.

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