Lonzo Ball is off the Los Angeles Lakers’ injury report and has no health-minutes restrictions heading into the season opener against the LA Clippers on Thursday night. The first test for Ball will be making the adjustment toward playing against “grown men” such as Clippers guard Patrick Beverley. “Just the strength,” Ball said of what could be his biggest challenge now that the season starts. “It’s grown men now, so every night, night in, night out, they going to be strong.” “I have been watching the NBA for a long time, [Beverley] definitely picks up full court and plays hard. It is going to be a lot of fun. He is going to go at me, I am going to go at him and it is going to be that.”
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“They are going to come after him, it’s what people in this league do,” head coach Luke Walton said after shootaround Thursday. “They come after young players, and when there’s young players with a lot of media and hype around them, they really come after them. They want to set a tone and he will see it all year long. I think [Lonzo] knows that and he will be expecting it and as the season goes, he will learn from it and learn how best to handle and succeed with it.”
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Now Ingram starts the season with heavy expectations placed on Ingram’s broad shoulders. But the 20-year-old is embracing all the challenges. “Twenty points is five points a quarter,” Ingram said. “When you believe in yourself as much as I do, I think it is very possible [to meet Johnson’s expectations]. For me this preseason, I got a chance to reflect and try to figure out how I can do that.” The first step for Ingram is reminding the critics who might have forgotten about him why the Lakers took him after Ben Simmons in the 2016 draft. “For sure,” Ingram says when asked if he thinks some have forgotten what he can do. “I don’t like to look at things [said] outside of the team, but you can say that. “And I gave them reasons to [forget].”
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