New York Knicks: Series vs. Hawks proves need for Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Lonzo Ball, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks,
New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball, (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Lonzo Ball would boost the New York Knicks perimeter defense

This is the first major box that Lonzo Ball checks off. The 23-year-old is already a premier defensive player. Any New Orleans Pelicans fan will tell you that Lonzo Ball, a guard, is their defensive anchor. More so than even the defensive-minded Steven Adams or All-NBA defender Eric Bledsoe. He often guards the best opposing player. Check out this chart showing his success doing so early in the season:

Ball plays defense on a high level for a Pelicans team that only ranks 23rd in the league in defensive rating. Therefore, some of Ball’s numbers won’t truly show his impact on that end due to the shortcomings of his teammates. His numbers are impressive regardless. Ball still ranks 54th in Defensive Box Plus/Minus, 13th in steals per game (1.5), and 20th in total steals (82), stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

Ball is the perfect player to slot in for New York in a potential matchup with the Hawks. Imagine ‘Zo, whose 6-foot 6-inches, smothering the 6-foot-1 Young.