Why Lonzo Ball's NEW Shot CHANGES The Pelicans In The NBA (Ft. Zion, Old Lakers, & Ugly Shots)
Lonzo Ball has changed his shot and now Lonzo’s new shot changes how Zion Williamson and the Pelicans can play in the NBA. #NBA #Lonzo
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Here we are again, another year, another tweaked shot for Lonzo. Last year, there was a slight change except this year, Lonzo’s shot look more normal. It’s definitely better than this. So I wanted to breakdown what this new shot adds to his game and how it helps the Pelicans.
Lonzo Ball has been...bad to say the least. He’s shot 31.5% from 3. There are stretches where Lonzo has actually been a good shooter. Without LeBron, Lonzo shot 37% from 3. When Lonzo plays 30-39 minutes in a game which has been over 20 games, he’s shot 42.9% from 3. All this is great, but the overall story of Lonzo is that he’s a bad shooter. Lonzo is more than just a bad shooter, he’s one of the best defenders in the league, he has extraordinary passing vision, but there has always been a focus on his weird shooting. Lonzo’s shot is one of the most recognizable parts of him and for good reason. Lonzo is left eye dominant which means he likes to aim with his left eye and so he lines up the ball on the left side of his head with his left eye. Most times, right handed shooters are right eye dominant and left handed shooters are left eye dominant. Now the best example of cross dominance like Lonzo is Kevin Durant. He brings the ball slightly to the left of his body to align with his left. Lonzo’s extreme case brought a lot of concerns on whether he could shoot over NBA defenses and he could. But there were obvious limitations. Lonzo almost never shot while going to his right, especially because hiss upper body movement to the left countered his lower body movement to the right. Lonzo also is terrible from the corners, he shot 19% from the left corner. That can also be explained by trying to line up his shot, but not getting enough sideways motion with him arm to keep it from going left. Lonzo’s shot was just inconsistent.
So now that we understand Lonzo’s old shot, let’s look at Lonzo’s quote unquote new shot. And without even slowing down his shot, it’s clear that there visible change. The main difference is that Lonzo’s shot is to the right of his head, sort of. Well, for the first time, Lonzo is bringing the ball on the right side of his body while going up and not his left. This fundamentally changes what Lonzo can do on the court offensively. I’m sure that Lonzo is still left eye dominant, but shooting from his right side means that he can get his shot off quicker. There’s less overall motion in the jumpshot which means less complications. This also means that Lonzo can actually shoot while going to his right. This means it doesn’t limit Lonzo’s off dribble capabilities. He doesn’t have to just go left to shoot anymore. This should also help him from those corner spots that he has trouble with. LaVar said Lonzo didn’t need to change his shot, but (Lavar is Crazy clip)
With Zion Williamson on the court with Lonzo, there will be plenty of opportunities for Lonzo to be a floor spacer, but more importantly, as a ball handler in the pick and roll. Zion will draw attention to himself as the roller meaning Lonzo should get comfortable in shooting off the dribble going both directions. Zion likes to roll and go left so he can finish with his left which means Lonzo would need to be able to shoot going right or at least threaten that. Lonzo’s passing can take over if any of the defenses step up on him. Lonzo also will be playing a bit of off-ball with Jrue Holiday also sharing the ball handling responsibilities. With players like Zion and Derrick Favors, there are already players that can’t shoot from the perimeter so it’s even more important for the Pelicans to have more players that can shoot.
Zion is also a pretty good ball handler for the pick and roll. I’ve also mentioned this in my Lonzo Zion pairing video. Lonzo could be a good screen setter at his size and fade to the 3 point line. If the defense collapses in Zion who attacks the basket, he has an easy kick out to Lonzo. With better catch and shoot mechanics and a faster release, he’ll become more effective making this a different look for the defense to handle.
But what do you think? Will Lonzo take the next step? Will he shoot better next season?