Lakers showcase first glimpse of LeBron James-Lonzo Ball duo

Lakers showcase first glimpse of LeBron James-Lonzo Ball duo


Lakers showcase first glimpse of LeBron James-Lonzo Ball duo

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One of the biggest story lines in the NBA is whether newly signed Lakers star LeBron James and point guard Lonzo Ball can coexist and thrive in 2018-19.

The Lakers got their first glimpse of the two players on the court at the same time in Wednesday's preseason win over the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas.

While James has played intermittently during the preseason — enough to get Lakers fans revved up for the three-time champion's arrival in Hollywood — Ball had been easing back from a summer knee surgery, making his debut off the bench Wednesday.

While their time on the court together was brief, there was a highlight reel nonetheless.

On a play that the Lakers executed often last season with Ball as a rookie, James found the 6-foot-6 point guard with a perfectly timed backscreen alley-oop.

James also drained a buzzer-beater, while only playing in the first half.

Skeptics have wondered how two players who thrive with the ball in their hands and enjoy passing could mesh after James signed a four-year deal in the summer.

That question became more illuminated when the Lakers added several veterans this offseason, including another pass-first point guard in Rajon Rondo.

Ball played 23 minutes backing up Rondo, finishing with seven points on 3 of 5 shooting, with four rebounds, four steals, two assists and three turnovers. Ball, who shot 31% from three-point range last year, air-balled his only attempt from beyond the arc.

Ball told reporters that the hardest challenge in playing with James will be preventing his inner fan from coming out.

"When you play with LeBron, you got to keep playing, because he's easy to watch, as much stuff as he does," Ball said. "He had a monster first half. Best player in the world, that is what he does."