Lonzo Ball has proven that he is the real deal but critics are still cautious in terms of the Los Angeles Lakers' chances. The rookie did shine at the Las Vegas summer league, though much of that may not translate into what lies ahead for the purple and gold. In a previous post, it was mentioned that the Lakers are likely to end up as the third worst team in the Western Conference. Most of that was based on statistics, meaning the difference may fall on the players suiting up, including Lonzo Ball.

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Byron Scott skeptical

Byron Scott had his chance to call the shots for the Lakers from 2014 to 2016. As most know, nothing really happened during his term. His coaching was subject to criticism, and hallmarked by the tough love which was hardly embraced. Now retired, Scott believes that the Lakers' rise may come, but not this 2017-18 NBA season -- per an interview with TMZ. The reason behind it makes sense.

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The team is composed mostly of young stars and will need more time to build chemistry. A lot of that falls on the shoulders of Walton, who will try to get them into fighting shape. Paired with powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers are far from being a dark horse until Walton comes up with some kind of magic. It has happened before so the possibility may not be far-fetched.

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Los Angeles Lakers

The game changes in the regular season

Lonzo Ball has been drawing a lot of hype with his summer league performance. But most of the players he played with may not be on the regular roster. The same holds true for opposing teams who gave rookies, sophomores, and hopeful free agents a chance. Ball did stand out but is nothing compared to the challenge that the regular NBA wars have to offer. Ball may be in for rough sailing, especially when he gets the chance to go up against the likes of Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Chris Paul.

In short, Ball has yet to get his official baptism of fire. His true worth will come out in the regular season, hoping to improve on what D’Angelo Russell failed to do. Aside from talent, consistency will be a major factor. While critics expect some lack of maturity, Ball and company will need to fast-track all that to help the Lakers rise. Magic Johnson laid down some of the pieces but also mentioned that they will be hunting for more talent in 2018.

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The names being suggested include LeBron James and Paul George, among others. Hence, the current season may be a final exam for some Lakers players. If they fail, some may be dealt -- either this season or in 2018.

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