The nightcap to the NBA’s Christmas Day slate just got a little less intriguing.
The Lakers announced on Sunday that rookie point guard Lonzo Ball will miss their 10:30 p.m. ET contest against the Timberwolves after spraining his left shoulder in the second quarter of their game on Saturday night against the Blazers.
Ball will sit out at least one week with the injury, which indicates he will miss at least four games before he’s reevaluated as the Lakers play the Wolves, Grizzlies, Clippers and Rockets through next Sunday and the Wolves again next Monday.
While Ball stumbled out of the gates in his rookie year, particularly with his shooting, he’s one of the Lakers’ top playmakers and his passing acumen (which was always his best attribute coming out of UCLA) has translated immediately in the form of 7.1 assists per game. Ball being a marquee name for the Lakers makes this a loss for TNT as well and for those looking forward to hearing Charles Barkley and Shaq, who are doing the game broadcast with the rest of the Inside the NBA crew, bringing their hot Ball takes.
Hopefully this injury won’t linger and keep Ball out for too long, especially since he had taken some clear strides of late in his comfort on the floor, but the Lakers will surely be careful with their young star.