Lonzo Ball is questionable for the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
Ball put in 43 minutes in a 107-101 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. However, Ball injured his left knee during the game and had an MRI on Sunday, which revealed a minor knee sprain.
The win over the Mavericks was the Lakers’ fourth in five games since Ball returned from a shoulder injury.
Ball’s return had helped stimulate a turnaround for the Lakers, who had lost nine in a row — Ball had missed six of those games — before their current four-game winning streak. In the five games since his return, Ball has averaged 11.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7 assists a game.
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According to SportsNet’s Mike Trudell, the MRI was a “precautionary” move. Ball is having the procedure performed in Memphis, Tennessee, where the Lakers are scheduled to play the Grizzlies on Monday night.
Health has become an issue for the rookie, who has missed time due to shoulder, quad, calf and ankle injuries this season. This adds to the start of a career that has already been filled with a lot of criticism for the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.
If Ball is forced to miss more time, Tyler Ennis and Jordan Clarkson should get more minutes running the point.
For the season, Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. As steady as those statistics are, the Lakers rookie is under intense scrutiny for his shooting woes early in the season. He is hitting at a 35.6 percent accuracy from the field, 30.3 percent from long distance, and only 48 percent from the line. During that five-game stretch, he didn’t attempt a single free-throw.
Ball has been playing well recently and it remains to be seen how this young Lakers team will adjust to not having their playmaker in the starting lineup once again.
Regardless of the criticism and his shooting percentages, Ball has been a key cog in the Lakers attack which lacks in creativity without him orchestrating the offense.
Lakers teammate, Brandon Ingram, might also be out as he suffered a mild left ankle sprain last Saturday in their win against the Dallas Mavericks.