The Lakers will be without Lonzo Ball as they close their Summer League play.
The Los Angeles rookie sensation will miss Monday’s championship game against the Trail Blazers in Las Vegas with a mild calf strain in his right leg, the team announced.
Ball initially suffered the injury in the Lakers’ Summer League Tournament semifinal win over the Mavericks on Sunday, which was the team’s fifth game in six nights. He left during the third quarter and did not return to the court.
The team was optimistic Ball would be able to play in Monday’s finale, but were also expected to proceed with caution.
Ball, 19, leads the Summer League in assists (9.3) and ranks third in steals (2.5). The former UCLA standout and No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft is also averaging 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
Unlike Westbrook and James, Durant has never been the primary ball handler on a team. It may sound weird considering Durant averages 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for his career, but he’s always shared the court with another high usage player.
Consider: Westbrook had a higher usage rating every season he was with Durant in Oklahoma City except for when Westbrook was a rookie and Durant a sophomore. While that much is to be expected considering Westbrook is a point guard and Durant is a small forward, Harden’s situation is unique because he is the primary ball handler for the Rockets despite the fact he is a “shooting guard.” Even now, Durant (27.7 percent) is between Stephen Curry (29.8 percent) and Klay Thompson (25.9 percent) in usage rating on the Warriors. Imagine if he initiated the offense every trip down the floor like Harden does.