Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton addressed rumors that they are planning to bench rookie point guard Lonzo Ball due to his struggles this season. Walton told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that the Lakers won’t bench Ball and will allow him to work through his struggles. According to Ryan Ward of Clutch Points, Walton clarified that the team are not looking into the possibility of taking Ball out of the starting lineup. Walton benched Ball in the fourth quarter of their 115-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers where he finished with just two points on 1-of-9 shooting with five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes of play.

Ball has taken his struggles this season seriously, as he was not his usual jolly and playful self during Thursday’s practice, according to Walton. “That could be a good thing that he's frustrated or mad a little bit,” Walton said. Walton also believes that the recent arrest of Lonzo’s brother, UCLA freshman LiAngelo, in China, has also added to the burden of the Lakers' rookie.

Ball struggling from the field

This season, Ball is averaging 9.0 points, 6.9 assists, and 6.6 rebounds, but he has struggled from the field, shooting just 30.3 percent and 23 percent from behind the arc. Ball’s play is far from what the Lakers envisioned when they took him No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft. The Lakers said Ball has what it takes to make the team a contender in the Western Conference.

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has high hopes for Ball, saying he expects his jersey to hang in the rafters of the Staples Center alongside legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West.

Magic won’t alter Ball’s shooting motion

Johnson said they will not alter Ball’s shooting motion this season despite his struggles from the field.

“We're not gonna mess with it,” team president Magic Johnson told ESPN's "Mike and Mike," adding that they will let the rookie shoot and play his game. Johnson said the Lakers will make the necessary intervention after the season if Ball still has his shooting woes. The Hall of Famer said he will sit down with Ball and convince him to look at other ways to improve his shooting.

Last season at UCLA, Ball made 41.2 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. For Ball, his shooting struggles are purely mental, as he told Kyle Hightower of the Chicago Tribune that “It’s just in my head, to be honest. I know I can shoot the ball,” said Ball.