New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball on path to All-Defensive team

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans l (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans l (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Lonzo Ball is evolving into one of the best defensive guards in the NBA for the New Orleans Pelicans.

When the New Orleans Pelicans traded Jrue Holiday, some fans worried that their defense would suffer. After three games, it looks like their defense will be just fine, largely because of Steven Adams and Lonzo Ball.

We all knew Adams would improve the rim protection and interior defense but it has been the defense of Lonzo Ball that has been most pleasantly surprising.

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Lonzo has been a menace on defense so far, moving his feet well, using his size and strength to stop dribble penetration and getting into the passing lanes for deflections and steals.

Lonzo’s defense was the difference in the second half of the San Antonio win and the Pelicans struggled every time he went to the bench.

The question is whether these improvements will be enough to get the attention of the voters for the All-Defensive team.

New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball could make the All-Defensive team this season

Obviously, three games is a small sample size, but you have to like what you’ve seen from Lonzo Ball defensively so far.

He is averaging 2.7 steals per game so far, which is 1.3 more than he averaged last year. Lonzo has also bumped his block shots up to one per game, an improvement over his career average.

Even when Lonzo Ball doesn’t get the steal himself, his on-the-ball defense has forced guards into tough passes that lead to teammates getting a steal.

It was Lonzo’s defense on Goran Dragic that forced this bad pass, which Josh Hart was able to swipe and take the other way.

Lonzo Ball hasn’t shot the ball well but he has been one of the New Orleans Pelicans’ most important players, largely because of his improvement on the defensive end.

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