It is no secret that Lonzo Ball is a poor free throw shooter, but it did come as quite a surprise when Lakers fans began booing him last night.
Los Angeles Lakers fans were restless on Wednesday night. Not only did they boo Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George darn-near every time he touched the ball, but they also booed Lonzo Ball when he began to miss crucial free throws.
In the case of Ball, the booing was sort of a long time coming.
Anyone who has followed the Lakers this season (and that is pretty much everybody), knows that Ball is a terrible free throw shooter. Though he has improved his shooting percentage slightly overall this season (40.6 vs. 36 percent last season), and is beginning to be a bit more credible from the 3-point line (31.6 percent), his shooting from the charity stripe has not improved, at all.
In his rookie season, he shot only 45.1 percent from the free throw line. That’s a lot of misses, and there was some hope that he would improve on this this season. But, he has not, as he is now hovering at, you guessed it, 45 percent from the charity stripe.
While Ball has embraced his defense and is getting more confident as an offensive player, he remains a liability for the Lakers at the end of games because of his dismal free throw shooting, and it was fully on display why the Lakers simply can’t be confident in Ball at the end of games.
With the score 91-85 Thunder with a little over six-minutes to go, Ball went to the line — and bricked two crucial free throws. After he missed the first free throw, the Lakers fans let him have it; and, who can blame them? When you watch a player who should be making free throws miss those shots in the final minutes, it can be fustrating.
And those fustrations can boil over.