New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball can be the Pels’ Draymond Green

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Lonzo Ball led the New Orleans Pelicans to an important win over the Indiana Pacers and once again demonstrated that his value cannot be measured only through stats.

Brandon Ingram scored the most points for the Pelicans in their 113-114 win over the Pacers, but it was Lonzo Ball who shepherded the team to victory.

The former UCLA guard played one of his most thorough games of the season, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and snuffing Indiana’s offense during the entire game.

After Ball’s big showing against the Milwaukee Bucks, I wrote about how it’s too early for the Pelicans (and their fanbase) to give up on him. The start of the season has been a bit of an adjustment for Ball—having to share backcourt responsibilities with an inconsistent Eric Bledsoe and playing in a new role a lot of the time—but things are seemingly starting to gel for him. More games are needed, but his flashes might be becoming more steady.

light. Related Story. Grades for stressful win over the Pacers

The New Orleans Pelicans should look at Ball like how the Warriors see Draymond Green: as someone who will make the plays necessary to win. Neither player is the most natural scorer or offensive threat, but they are great defenders with superior basketball IQs and playmaking savants.

Against the Pacers, Ball set the tone for his overall performance on the defensive end of the floor. Ball has the potential to become one of the NBA’s premier guard defenders. Few guards have his size at 6-foot-6, long arms, mobility, and instincts. Ball is yet to average under a steal per game in his NBA career for a reason. However, it’s important that his defensive impact is not looked at only in stats like steals or blocks.