During the regular season prior to the bubble Lonzo Ball averaged 12.4 points, 7 assists, and 6.2 rebounds. He also shot a solid 38.3 percent from behind the arc. Now that all the regular season bubble stats are here, we can see that Lonzo was far worse in the bubble than out. In the bubble, he averaged 5.6 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds. He also only had a 26 percent field goal percentage and an even worse 19 percent 3-point percentage.
Lonzo Ball has always been closely watched by basketball fans due to his prestige at UCLA and the expectations when he was drafted. During his three years in the NBA, people have even argued if Lonzo Ball was good at basketball at all. And the results of these discussions are still inconclusive.
Lonzo Ball even admitted to his poor play in the bubble. He said that he, “felt like [he] let the team down.” He continued by saying that, “Usually, when I play well, we win and, obviously, I didn’t play well this trip. We’re going home early, and I have to live with that.”. And that quote embodies Lonzo Ball entirely.
When Lonzo Ball plays well the Pelicans win. The Pelicans finished the season with only 30 total wins. They also had 41 losses. That means that more than half of the time Lonzo Ball does not play well. When Ball plays well, he can play at a borderline all-star level. But most of the time he cannot play well. During some games, it comes to the point where either Frank Jackson or, the hard-working but sloppy, Josh Hart has to come in and take his place at point guard.
Lonzo Ball’s gap between his ceiling and his floor is vast. He could step on the court and play like Jason Kidd, or he could play like someone who would barely make a G-league roster. Lonzo’s play in the bubble is not necessarily what caused the Pelicans to be kicked out of the playoffs, but it most certainly was a factor. And if Lonzo doesn’t fix his tendencies soon, he may be replaced.