Let’s get the main thing out of the way first: Lonzo Ball should be fine, but he planned to see how he felt Tuesday morning after a mild left ankle sprain Monday night.
Ball said he’ll be fine. He also said the reason he re-entered the game in the second half is that he believes that kind of injury is helped by immediately getting back on it.
What’s important to remember is that in the long run, Ball will be fine.
Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 113-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
1. Ball looked more comfortable running the Lakers’ offense in this game vs. the Lakers preseason opener. His performances are all about the eye test, not about numbers. You can’t quantify leadership or magnetism. Ball has both. “I’ve said the whole time, he’s naturally a leader,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “The way he plays the game of basketball, everywhere he goes, if he went to the rec center, people would follow him. Because he makes people better. That’s what great leaders do.”
2. Luol Deng had a productive night. In 10 minutes and 28 seconds, Deng scored nine points and six rebounds. Deng missed the Lakers’ first preseason game with hip flexor tightness.
3. The two big men, Andrew Bogut and Brook Lopez, weren’t able to play on Monday, but they are closer. Bogut isn’t ready yet, especially after coming off an injury last year. Lopez has experienced back spasms and was shooting in warmups Monday.
4. When asked to single out a player who has been impressive in training camp, Walton picked Tyler Ennis. Ennis had a baby in August, and Walton worried that the baby’s schedule would make it difficult for him to work. Ennis had seven points and three rebounds. Monday’s game was also the first time his daughter was able to attend a game.
5. Julius Randle had a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Walton felt that Randle’s improvement from the first preseason game to the second marked the biggest change of any player. He was especially impressed with how Randle communicated defensively.
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