No, Nancy Lieberman, Lonzo Ball Is Not 2020 Most Improved Player

The talking-head media world is full of plenty of hot takes, terrible takes, and terrible hot takes, but this take from Nancy Lieberman of Fox Sports might be the hottest and most “thass turrable” (thank you Charles Barkley) of them all. "If Lonzo Ball is not up for Most Improved Player in the NBA this year then, apparently, nobody has cable."@NancyLieberman drops knowledge on Lonzo's improvement this season.#WontBowDown pic.twitter.com/ChSiAFHGco — FOXSports NewOrleans (@FOXSportsNOLA) February 22, 2020 To be Most Improved Player, one must show improvement. This much ought to be obvious. Giannis Antetokounmpo won MIP when he made his leap …

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Lonzo Ball: Is He Any Good?

The mere inability to shoot the basketball does not necessarily disqualify a player from becoming an all-time great. After all, Jason Kidd couldn’t shoot for beans (40.0 FG% for his career, and his five years in Phoenix were the only stretch with one team where he shot above that mark) and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Further away from the basket, Russell Westbrook is arguably the worst 3-point shooter of all-time. His 30.4 percent mark is second behind only Charles Barkley‘s 26.6 for players with at least 2,000 attempts, but Russ has attempted 3,150 through games of January 9, …

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Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball, Who Is Made of Glass

Lonzo Ball is injured again, this time sustaining a left knee contusion in the Lakers’ 103-93 win over the Mavericks at home. Ball was his usual can’t-shoot-a-lick self in his 24 minutes, scoring eight points while shooting 3-of-7 from the field, 1-of-3 from three, and 1-of-2 from the line…then again, all those percentages (42.9/33.3/50) were actually improvements on his horrid season totals. Ball says he’s not likely to miss much time, but with the Lakers’ playoff hopes deader than disco at 33-41 (they were officially mathematically eliminated when they lost to the Pistons Monday night), they might as well just …

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Breakfast Special: The Lakers Tank Fail

Lakers coach Luke Walton is taking the continuing criticism of Black Marv Marinovich in stride. BMM’s son, Lonzo Ball, continues to be the biggest bust at No. 2 overall since Darko, and indeed Ball shot a disappointing 5-of-13 from the field in the Lakers’ you-can’t-even-tank-right 132-113 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. With the game decided, Walton pulled Ball from the game to preserve his health, but he couldn’t resist taking a dig at the media circus around Lakerland. When asked why he’d pulled Lonzo, Walton simply said “His dad was talking s— so I took him out early.” …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LeBronzo

Lonzo Ball got a chance to showcase his skills in front of someone who, if the rumors are true, will be his teammate next year. Against LeBron James, Ball had 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, dished 11 assists, and grabbed eight rebounds, but a near-triple-double was no match for an actual triple-double; LeBron had 25 points, 12 boards, and 12 dimes. Kyle Kuzma continues to stand as the Lakers’ best rookie; he had 20 points off the bench on 8-of-16. It was a curious game from long range for Cleveland. LeBron was 1-of-7; Jae Crowder was 1-of-6. The rest of …

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NBA Breakfast Special: James Harden Clowns Lonzo Ball

For the Houston Rockets, showing Lonzo Ball what a real NBA star looks like was always going to be on the menu. For James Harden to play the best defense anyone has yet played on Flea Market Westbrook all season? Wait…did Mike D’Antoni really just get Harden to buy in so completely that now he’s emerging as a legit NBA defender, in gross contravention of his reputation? Was that just a thing that happened? Ball was 0-of-4 from the field. His only two points came on his sole trip to the free throw line. And Harden, with Ball trying to …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball’s Triple Double Problem

Lonzo Ball makes no sense at all. Not for nothing do we call him the dollar-store knockoff version of Russell Westbrook around here, because in many ways, Ball’s game is patterned after the Thunder’s far superior player. Same great nose for the rim, same eye for making the defense pay for overcommitting to him by finding an open teammate, same ability to soak up minutes and keep coming back for more. But on the other hand, even when Ball is good, his complete inability to shoot stares you in the face and won’t let you look away. Ball had 11 …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Joel Embiid 46, Lonzo Ball 2

Man, the more Lonzo Ball stinks out the joint, the more the big steaming Number 2 on his uniform looks appropriate to his skill level. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid scored 46 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished 7 assists, and swatted 7 blocks, a savage beatdown of the Lakers on the same night that Ben Simmons came a rebound shy of a triple-double and Robert Covington celebrated his new contract extension with 12 points on a deliciously efficient 5-of-9 shooting and 2-of-3 from long range. Dollar Store Westbrook? Two points. It’s one thing to score your uniform number if you’re Kevin Durant …

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