SportsPulse: LeBron James heading to the Lakers is just one of many burning topics as we inch closer to the 2018-19 NBA season. USA TODAY
Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson says guard Lonzo Ball is poised for a "breakout season" playing alongside LeBron James and that Ball's shooting adjustments this offseason will help trigger an improved percentage from beyond the arc — where Ball shot just 31% as a rookie.
"Man, it is beautiful," Johnson told reporters on Thursday of Ball's new mechanics, which now features a quicker release with the ball more in front of his face and his follow-through centered.
"We didn't want to bother him (his shooting form). I think he decided to do that on his own. ...We explained that this is going to be the most important offseason, and while he could be on the court, his shot looked great.
Johnson said Ball also muscled up in the weight room this offseason and watched a lot of film.
Lakers criticism?: Magic shoots down criticism of offseason moves
"He is going to be ready to build on what he did last season," Johnson said, "because it was only a couple of things he had to do better, and that was driving to the basket, finish and get the midrange in terms of getting his shot where he is on balance. It is not his shot. He just has to be on balance."
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters Ball's altered shooting form "looks incredible" and "he's shooting the ball a lot more fluid now."
Pelinka expects Ball to shoot similar percentages to when he was at UCLA — when he was a 41% three-point shooter — and to excel in his second NBA season with a different offensive responsibility playing alongside James.
"One of the things about his college metrics is he was an outstanding three-point shooter," Pelinka said. "With this team, with so many different ball handlers, I think that's a strength for him. If he pushes it ahead to someone and runs and fills a spot, and he's a catch-and-shoot player, he's going to have the ability, I think, to be a good shooter."
you may also want to read
1 September 2018
1 September 2018