Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant rally behind struggling Lonzo Ball

By @saihoops on
Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
Oct 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) looks on during the second half against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. USA TODAY Sports / Kelvin Kuo

Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant believe Los Angeles Lakers fans must be patient with highly-touted rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. In 20 appearances thus far, Ball is shooting a league-worst field goal percentage (.309) and three-point percentage (.245) for his 8.7 points per game. 

Entering the league, Ball was expected to struggle due to his unconventional shooting form. However, many have criticised his lack of aggression and inability to orchestrate the Lakers offence.

During Monday's 120-115 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers, Ball finished with just 3 points and air-balled two critical three-point attempts during the closing stages of the fourth quarter. After the loss, several analysts blamed Lakers coach Luke Walton for controversially benching Jordan Clarkson in favour of Ball.

Durant believes Ball will overcome his rookie travails. "Lonzo is just playing like a rookie, as far as learning the game, finding the ins and outs of the game. It's slowing down for him. Picking and choosing his spots. He's still figuring it out. He's 19? That's what any 19-year-old would go through in the pros. It's just a matter of him being in L.A., where the eyes and scrutiny are on him. He's playing like he should play as far as learning the game and adjusting on the fly," Durant said on the eve of the Wednesday's Lakers vs Warriors game at the Staples Center. 

Stephen Curry to Lonzo Ball: 'Just be yourself'

Meanwhile, Curry said he can relate to Ball and the pressures of having a famous father. Curry's father, Dell Curry, played 16 seasons in the NBA and won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1994.

"He's a rookie. He's going through ups and downs like every rookie has. Whether you're highly touted or not, it's all a learning experience and you're trying to find your way and be comfortable. I've always said he's a great talent. I think he loves to play basketball, so he'll be able to fight through all that and have a great career. I hope you didn't judge me off my first 20 games in the league," Curry said after a practice session on Tuesday.

The Golden State Warriors (15-6) will get their first look of Lonzo Ball when they visit the Staples Center on Wednesday (Thursday in Australia). While the Los Angeles Lakers (8-12) are not expected to make the postseason, they are just one-and-a-half games behind the eighth-seeded Utah Jazz (10-11) in the Western Conference.