The Ball brothers have taken the basketball world by storm recently.
Lonzo was selected No. 2 overall in 2017 by the New Orleans Pelicans.
Much of this stems from the publicity their father has generated.
Since their time at Chino Hills High School in California, they have had a steady place in basketball media.
Together with their other brother LiAngelo, the three formed one of the best high school teams in history.
Now, LaMelo and Lonzo met for the first time in their short NBA careers this past Friday.
LaMelo hit the step-back three over Lonzo 👌 pic.twitter.com/S9xVxbMP8B
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2021
In the head-to-head battle, LaMelo had the advantage after nearly posting a triple double.
He scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists in just over 25 minutes on the court.
Meanwhile, Lonzo had just five points, two rebounds and three assists.
Now that LaMelo does have some time in the league under his belt, how do the two compare?
What are each of their play styles, and how are they similar or different?
Playmaking: Brotherly Love
There are many clear similarities between the Ball brothers.
The most obvious is their size at the point guard position.
Each of them are taller than the average point guard, with Lonzo being 6-foot-6 and LaMelo 6-foot-8.
However, LaMelo is far less bulky than his brother though there is an age difference.
At their core, they are also playmakers.
They each have the ability to make a flashy and accurate pass.
What a touch pass from Lonzo.
Ball's already heading back to JaVale by the time Drummond turns to face Zo. pic.twitter.com/PIaaSZfSzi
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) January 10, 2019
In his three-year NBA career, Lonzo has dazzled with some of the passes he has made.
LaMelo has already made the talent of his passing game clear too.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 3, 2021
Both of the Ball brothers look to make plays and set up their teammates first and foremost.
The biggest difference between the two brothers exists in their ability to score in the NBA.
Though LaMelo has been held to limited time on the court, he has shown the ability to score the ball.
Per 36 minutes, he is averaging 17.5 points per game which is a solid mark for a rookie.
He also showed a unique ability to make uncomfortable shots with either hand around the basket.
This does lead to some ill-advised shots which he will need to avoid.
Each brother has their troubles shooting with their unorthodoxy styles.
Lonzo has improved since entering the league however, hitting 37.5% of his three-point attempts last season.
Due to LaMelo’s small sample size, the verdict is still out on his talent to shoot the ball.
He has been able to shoot 32.5% from beyond the arc in his nine games this year.
This LaMelo three was too smooth. pic.twitter.com/Fx3LKvHzCm
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 3, 2021
If he is able to improve his athleticism when driving to the hoop and his perimeter shooting, he would become even better than Lonzo.
When the brothers played together at Chino Hills, the defensive part of the game wasn’t as stressed.
Lonzo showed some of these defensive holes in his time at UCLA as well.
However, he has developed himself into a well-rounded defender in the NBA thus far.
LaMelo has a similar defensive style to his brother, using his length to disrupt the offensive attack.
Because of this, they are each able to produce steals at a solid rate.
What hurts LaMelo is his lack of elite athleticism, making it more difficult to stick with stronger and faster players.
This is something that he will need to improve upon moving forward.
With this in mind, Lonzo is still currently better at defense.
Which Ball Brother Has More Upside?
This all comes back to the biggest difference between the two: LaMelo has much higher upside.
In over three seasons Lonzo has struggled to live up to the hype.
Of course, he is still just 23-years-old, and he will have many more years in the league ahead of him.
Meanwhile, LaMelo has shown the potential to become a special player in the league.
He has shown a skillset that could allow him to develop into one of the better playmakers in the NBA.
Lamelo Ball is figuring things out even quicker than I thought he would. I had him at No. 1 and felt strongly he was the clear highest upside player, but thought there might be some growing pains early. Those pains are still real, but he’s adjusting on the fly quickly.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 5, 2021
There are many fundamental similarities with Lonzo which make it fun to compare the two.
However, LaMelo has shown the potential that could make him better than his brother.