- LaVar Ball thinks the Pelicans can defeat the Lakers in the playoffs
- Pelicans need to secure playoff seat first
- Lakers too strong for the Pelicans to handle
LaVar Ball, the controversial father of Lonzo Ball, is at it again. Known for mouthing off when the opportunity arises, the 52-year-old made another bold prediction on behalf of his son. With the New Orleans Pelicans having a shot at catching the last bus to the NBA playoffs, Ball believes his son and the Pelicans can pull the rug from under the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ball spoke to ESPN recently and was ranting about how Lonzo was in an entirely different mode which he brands as revenge mode. Part of this is probably the 22-year-old guard who was part of that blockbuster trade involving Anthony Davis. Ball was traded alongside Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart to the Pelicans last summer.
“You got my son in a different mode, which is: never seen him in playoff mode and you ain’t never seen him in revenge mode,” said the elder Ball.
In a way, LaVar may have a point. Though his numbers are not that eye-popping, the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft has been putting up fair numbers. In 53 games, Ball has averaged 12.0 points, 6.1 rebound and 7.0 assists per Basketball-Reference.com. These are a tad better than his career averages but still way behind what a certified NBA star delivers.
But then again, there is Ingram that could help. The 22-year-old is having a banner year, breaking out and proving what he can do given the right amount of playing time. In 53 games, the fellow second overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft is averaging 24.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Add another top pick in the equation in Zion Williamson and the Pels could have a chance. But one problem still remains, the Pelicans are not in the top eight teams of the Western Conference.
As of this writing, the Pelicans are 26-35 and four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies. Though there is still time, New Orleans will tread the needles to make it to the postseason wars. They do have lighter assignments for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season and have a chance. But as far as defeating the Lakers in the first round, not most will be convinced. The fact remains that with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, Los Angeles remains a tough team to beat. The Pelicans would be lucky to win a game or two but that would be about it.