Pelicans: Lonzo Ball’s last four games show his biggest problem

(Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans and Lonzo Ball were unable to agree on a contract extension last offseason for various reasons.

The Pelicans wanted to see a full season of him and Zion Williamson to get an idea of how the two fit together, while Lonzo Ball was probably hoping a breakout year would secure him a much larger bag.

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With just a few games remaining, I am not sure which side came out better for the future negotiation.

We’ve spent a lot of time this season talking about what Lonzo Ball is. Is he a point guard? A 3-and-D wing? Can he be the 3rd-best player on a championship team?

We’ve dissected his shooting, passing and defense, and compared him to other guards around the league. When Lonzo Ball is rolling, there are few players like him, as he has otherworldly court vision, can knock down long-range shots with the best of them, and is a joy to watch in the open court.

We all know Lonzo Ball has the skill to be an impact player in the NBA, but he has to get over his biggest problem, which was on full display over the last four games.

New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball has to get more consistent

The last four games have showed Lonzo Ball’s biggest problem as a player: consistency.

After having a triple-double against the Nuggets in which he made 4-of-9  from 3-point range, he backed it up with a six point effort against the lowly Thunder missing all eight of his long-range shots.

He bounced back in a big way in the win over the Timberwolves, notching a career-high 33 points while narrowly missing another triple-double, making a scorching 8-of-17 from 3-point range.

In the most important game of the season, trick-or-treat Lonzo disappeared again, getting only seven points on 1-of-9 from 3-point range in the blowout loss to the Warriors.

These four games show why the Pelicans might be reluctant to hand over a $20 million per season contract to Lonzo Ball, as he is just not consistent enough from night to night.

He has to find ways to score inside of the 3-point line, as his scoring depends too heavily on long-range shots that run hot and cold.

While his defense and passing are usually there from night-to-night, the Pelicans need a consistent 3rd scorer to complement Zion and Brandon Ingram, who have had to carry a huge offensive burden this season.

Lonzo Ball sometimes looks like one of the best players in the NBA, then disappears the next game, which has to change if he is going to be part of the “Big 3” in New Orleans.

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