Lonzo Ball has missed 13 games and the Los Angeles Lakers are 4-9 in that stretch. Lonzo Ball is still a week or two away from returning and the Lakers need him back immediately. Lonzo Ball’s numbers are not impressive as he is averaging 9.9 ppg, 5.3 reb, 5.4 apg, 1.5 spg, and only shooting 40% from the field and 32.9% from three.

Lonzo Ball’s impact goes beyond his numbers as his impact on the floor demonstrates his versatility especially on the defensive end. The Los Angeles Lakers since the All Star Break are giving up a total of 114 points in just 3 games. Early in the season with Lonzo in the starting five, the Lakers were a top 12 defensive team. Since Lonzo has been out with a Grade 3 ankle sprain, the Lakers have plummeted to 26th in defensive rating and giving up an average of 115 ppg.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also lacking consistent point guard play. Rajon Rondo has totaled just 11 points and 11 turnovers in just the last 3 games. The Lakers are playing disorganized and need another point guard that can get others easy opportunities. One player cannot change the Lakers woes on defense but someone that will look to impact that side of the floor can help the others follow his lead on defense. The Lakers are tied for 10th seed at 29-31. The full team at one point was 20-14 on Christmas Day and the full team has played better early in the season.

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost 2 straight after beating the Houston Rockets last Thursday and need to play much better in order to make the playoffs. Lonzo Ball’s effect on the team is clearly missing and they need him to return as soon as possible. The 8th seed in the Western Conference are only 3 games up from the Lakers. The best stretch of basketball is still ahead for the Lakers and a winning streak of 3-4 games will put them in the playoffs. When Lonzo Ball returns, the Lakers will be fully healthy for first time since Christmas Day. The Lakers will play better with everyone fully healthy and ready to win games.

The Lakers still have a shot at a playoff appearance and Lonzo Ball can help this team on the defensive end and provide another playmaker on the floor to create plays for his teammates.

Featured Image: Sunny Kumar via www.flickr.com
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