LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball had their best game as professionals in rout

The Dagger
LeMelo Ball filled up the stat sheet. (Sport1)
LeMelo Ball filled up the stat sheet. (Sport1)

The Big Baller Brand Challenge Games have been good to the Ball brothers. The Big Baller Brand Challenge Games is a five-game exhibition that was created by the Ball family patriarch in order to get his two sons more playing time on their Lithuanian club and to build their confidence. Two days after being held scoreless in their Lithuanian League play debut, the adventures of LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball continued on Monday as the pair got back into a groove and delivered the best performances of their brief professional careers.

In Vytautus’ 130-93 win over BC Lietuvos, the Ball brothers delivered an offensive tour de force right out of their Chino Hills days by producing nearly half of Vytautus’ scoring total. LaMelo scored a game-high 31 points, dished 11 assists and recorded five steals. LiAngelo did most of his damage in the low post and at the rim, but wasn’t far behind LaMelo’s team-high, chipping in 29 points of his own.

The highlights were plentiful, while LaMelo and LiAngelo were in sync, yet it should be taken with a grain of salt. Unlike Monday’s league play matchup against top-level BC Lietkabelis, their opponent in Monday’s Big Baller Brand Challenge was a second-division team.

 

 

However, it wasn’t without its hijinks. With victory in hand as the clock ticked down in the final two minutes, LiAngelo laced an outlet pass to a wide open LaMelo, who was presented with an unimpeded path to the rim. Instead, of taking the easy two, LaMelo threw an alley-oop off the rim, exposed his  meager vertical leap and flubbed it.

Aside from the latest example of LaMelo hot-dogging it out to his own detriment, this was a positive experience for the Ball brothers as they acclimate to professional basketball abroad. It’s becoming more apparent that the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games results are meretricious offensive exhibitions and that league play is where their development will be measured.

There is still a debate over whether they were simply unprepared for a higher tier of competition or whether the disparity between the second-and first-division teams is wide enough to account for the Ball brothers’ wildly erratic performances. On Sunday, the Ball brothers will have an opportunity to improve upon their scoreless debut against top competition.

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DJ Dunson is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at dunsnchecksin@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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