As most of his teammates sat courtside after a full practice, Lonzo Ball did what he often does toward the end of their sessions. He shot a basketball, by himself, with a wrap around his left knee.
“Basketball-wise, you’re looking at it,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said when asked what Ball did Tuesday. “He started shooting toward the end of practice. He was in the weight room doing some rehab stuff, on the treatment table getting some treatment. Towards the end of our practice when we were half-court he started doing some shooting.”
Ball will not play Wednesday against the Orlando Magic, which will be the eighth game he has missed because of a sprained left medial collateral ligament. The degree of sprain Ball is dealing with typically requires a recovery time of one to three weeks. Ball suffered the injury Jan. 13.
Although he hasn’t progressed to practicing, Ball has not had setbacks to the injury. He tested the knee Monday in Toronto and did not feel worse Tuesday morning.
In his rehab this week, though, Ball did make some real progress. He began testing his knee with lateral movement in sessions with Lakers trainers.
“He got a start with [trainers], but nothing to the extent of what it would take to play basketball, move laterally, change direction full-speed drills, he has not done yet,” Walton said. “But he’s slowly doing that in a controlled setting with the staff.”
Brook Lopez loves Disney
While some people might prefer the cosmopolitan city of Toronto to Orlando, Lakers center Brook Lopez is not one of them.
It’s nothing against Toronto, but Lopez loves Disney, and Disney World is a short drive from Orlando.
He loves it so much he owns a home in a residential community on Walt Disney World Resort property. He is staying there Tuesday night before the Lakers play the Magic on Wednesday. He loves Disney so much that in the week before the Lakers left for this trip, Lopez went to Disneyland twice.
“I’ll always be a Disneyland guy,” Lopez said. “I grew up going there, it’s the original, but I love Disney World, I come out here all the time. Again, like in the summer and everything in the offseason, but I’m pretty used to it, it’s pretty cool having a house here.”
Asked about the differences between the parks, Lopez spoke uninterrupted for 81 seconds explaining the history of Disney World, what Walt Disney wanted to create and how the communities around the parks formed.
The Lakers played the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and didn’t fly to Orlando until Tuesday. After most games, they fly to the next city that night. Lopez might have had some time to stop by the Magic Kingdom had the Lakers arrived Monday instead.
“A little bit,” Walton said Tuesday evening after the Lakers practiced, when asked if he felt bad his schedule prevented Lopez from going to Disney World. “Little bit. Sometimes those are decisions you gotta make. I think they’re open late though. He may still get here tonight.”
Lopez wasn’t planning on it.
“I want to,” Lopez said. “But I’m going to try to be responsible.”
Defense a focus
The Lakers felt their defense slipped a little bit against a talented Raptors team Sunday, so that was a main focus of their drills during Tuesday’s practice in Orlando.
“We wanted to get up and down,” Walton said. “Get a good sweat going, compete a little bit. We did our cutthroat drill. The drills we were doing you won by getting stops today. That was the main thing in practice.”
When: Wednesday, 4 p.m. PST.
On Air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Update: Julius Randle has had double-doubles in three of the last four games. The Magic were 14-34 heading into Tuesday night when they played the Houston Rockets.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli