The Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick said he will receive treatment leading up to Monday night’s championship game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“This is the first time my calf got tight,” Ball said, adding that he still felt stiffness. “Just being cautious. I wanted to get back out there, but the training staff is going to take care of me and I will be with them tonight and tomorrow and hope I can get back out there tomorrow.”
Ball suffered the injury in the third quarter and departed with 6 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 108-98 semifinal win. The Lakers’ medical staff held Ball out for precautionary reasons, but the team sounded optimistic about the possibility that he plays in the championship game.
The Lakers will play their fifth game in six nights Monday, so they could play it safe with Ball. They have seen everything that they needed to see from the prized rookie.
“We are in a league right now that is kind of dominated by scoring point guards,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said before Ball suffered the calf injury. “And there’s some great ones, don’t get me wrong. But to kind of have this young kid come along, 19 years old, he is really changing the way point guards play with pass-first, getting your teammates going first. It is amazing to watch. We feel like the way he’s playing can really transform our whole team.”
With Magic Johnson, Pelinka and coach Luke Walton watching, Ball was having his best shooting night of the summer league, draining 5 of 7 shots, including 2 of 3 3-pointers, for 16 points. He dished out 10 assists, all by halftime, to go with four rebounds in an anticipated showdown with Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr., who finished with 21 points and six assists.
Ball has created a stir in Las…