Photo Courtesy NBA.com

Why Lonzo Ball is the most underrated player in the NBA

Read this and you’ll see why Lonzo Ball is one of the top young players in the NBA. If you’re already disgusted with that first sentence I encourage you to read the rest because I will do my best to change your mind.

Here’s what is wrong with all this criticism on Lonzo. It’s all based on the dislike for his family brand name, and his loudmouth father.

Since Lonzo has entered the league, everyone likes to compare him to Lebron and his rookie year. They like to say when James first came up he was tearing teams up. Scoring at will, defending like an animal, etc. Well, what I’m about to show you will prove to you why Lonzo should not be scrutinized anymore at the expense of his father .

In his first season, Lonzo is averaging 10.1 ppg. Lebron averaged 20.9. I know that’s not great but I had to get the bad out of the way first to blow your mind with his other stats. First off, I know this is average, but it makes sense. Lonzo isn’t a scorer. His game isn’t centered around scoring the way James’ is. Second, Lonzo has also only played 36 games as compared to James 79 his rookie year. Expect Lonzo’s numbers to only get better.

Now here’s where it gets good. Lonzo is averaging 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game. Lebron averaged 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Both of Lonzo’s rebounds and assist stats rank within the top three among all rookies. The only rookie better at both, is clear cut ROY favorite Ben Simmons.

In their first seasons, Lebron averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. Lonzo’s averaging 2.7.

Lonzo’s Player efficiency is 16.3. James’ was 18.8.

I looked back and saw that had Lonzo been a rookie in ‘03-’04 with that same number PER, he’d have been third in the league among all rookies. Only behind the second best player of all time Lebron James, and future hall of famer Carmelo Anthony.

He would have been before guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Kirk Hinrich.

If you’re still not convinced I’ll leave you with one last stat. Lonzo’s defensive efficiency ranks in the top 15 amongst ALL players in the NBA.

Lebron’s rookie year? Didn’t even crack the top 50 list.

Now, I am not telling you all of this to try and prove Lonzo is a better player than Lebron. I am just showing you that Lonzo is held to a much higher standard and put under a lot more pressure because of his father. Everything he does is looked at under a microscope, but don’t tell me for a second that he sucks because you don’t like his father’s loud mouth.

Shooting and learning to score is the easiest thing to correct in a players game. In fact, most players continue to improve their ability to score as their careers continue. Give the kid some time and he’ll be turning some heads no doubt about it.

Colin Cowherd said it best. Lonzo is dealing with a very different type of pressure than Lebron did. Lebron had hype. Because of his father, Lonzo has negativity. Lebron had to overcome the expectations of being the next greatest, Lonzo deals with people’s hatred for him and his family.

They want him to fail. Wanting someone to fail at all costs and not living up to the hype are two very different things.

 

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