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Kyrie raves about Lonzo's game, defends LaVar's parenting

Tim Bradbury / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Though Lonzo Ball's shooting woes persist, one NBA star sees his potential.

The Los Angeles Lakers point guard registered nine points on 4-of-15 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 from deep in Wednesday's 107-96 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Despite his offensive struggles, Kyrie Irving was impressed with what he saw in his first matchup with the rookie, who also chipped in six dimes, five rebounds, and a career-high four blocks.

"He's 6-foot-6, unbelievable in transition," Irving said of Ball, as quoted by ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

"Understanding that he wants to get his teammates involved. Can you really put a position on him, particularly right now? ... He does a great job of running that team. When he started to get comfortable and the pace started to pick up, that's where he starts to flourish."

Ball, who's shooting just 29.5 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from deep for the season, said his slump "just in (his) head." He hasn't been in recent contact with his family in China, where his brother LiAngelo was arrested this week for allegedly shoplifting. The UCLA freshman has reportedly been released on bail.

LaVar has stuck with LiAngelo through it all, even telling reporters the arrest "isn't a big deal." The bumptious Ball patriarch has received a lot of flak for his bold (and at times preposterous) declarations, but Irving defended him.

"He's just a supporting father, man," the All-Star point guard said. "Some guys are in the front line speaking for their kids. Some parents are on the back line. It's just like the loud parent at the graduation clapping unbelievably loud. You know, we all have different styles of parents. I think everybody just needs to appreciate their own."

It's a mature response from Irving, whom LaVar offensively called out in May, bringing up the 25-year-old's late mother.

Related - Kyrie offers advice to LaVar Ball on Lonzo: 'You got to let go'

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