The Los Angeles Lakers have dropped seven of their last 10 games since losing LeBron James and Rajon Rondo to injuries on Christmas Day, including a 101-95 defeat to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only have the Lakers missed James' and Rondo's talents during this stretch, but they've also missed their leadership abilities.
Sophomore point guard Lonzo Ball admits it's difficult to fill the void left by the Lakers' two vocal floor generals, but he says he's doing what he can to lead by example in the meantime.
"It's just a big void to fill," Ball said, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "LeBron and Rondo are arguably two of the best leaders ever. Having both of them out, that's two of our main guys who are talking on the court. It's new for me. It's new for B.I. (Brandon Ingram). Kuz (Kyle Kuzma) probably talks the most out of all of us.
"... For me, it's more about action. I don't think you can talk if you're not doing your job. So, it starts with that for me, and go from there."
James has missed 10-plus games in a campaign just once in his 15 seasons before heading to L.A. Without him, the Lakers have been forced to turn to their young trio of Ball, Ingram, and Kuzma, who have shown signs of star potential but have been inconsistent during this recent stretch.
"We want to win," Ball said. "It's kind of our team right now. The team's looking to us to make things happen, and we are not doing that. We just (have) to do better."
The Lakers (23-21) are currently tied for ninth with the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference.