Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, and the new-look Chicago Bulls are off to a hot start to begin the NBA season, as they're now 2-0 after beating the New Orleans Pelicans at home, last night. Ball, who came over to Chicago from New Orleans in a blockbuster trade this off-season, had an impressive showcase against his former team, registering a 17-10-10 triple-double stat line, helping lead his team to victory.
It's one thing to have great all-around performance, but it's another to do it against your former team. LaVine acknowledged Ball's play against his previous squad, telling reporters post-game that:
"He had a little extra bounce in his step, today. He got the first two points of the game, I think that says something," the star guard said with a smile. "Players know who the real ballers are...he affects the game in so many ways. He stays after practice late, does everything. One of the hardest working guys on the team and he shows how good of a player he is by affecting each part of the game."
Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesLonzo typically keeps an even temperament, doesn't get too high or low, or let drama and outside situations impact his play on the court. When asked if anything about this game meant more to him, Ball responded:
"Just it being the home opener, everyone is going to come out a little extra hyped. To me, it's just coming in every game and wanting to win that game and trying to do the best I can to help my team win that night. That's all it's really about, no matter who the opponent is."Ball is a gifted passer and facilitator, a tenacious defender, and has emerged as a knock-down 3-point shooter. His ability to impact the game in multiple ways is a major part of why Chicago acquired him, and when asked about the impact Lonzo has had on the Bulls' team thus far, LaVine responded,
"Great. He's everywhere. I mean, he hits his open threes, he pushes in transition, brings a real energy and physicality to the defensive end. [He's an] all-around player, man. We're thankful to have him."Check out the full post-game comments from LaVine and Ball, below: