Who needs a Big Baller when you have Big Biggie?

ByESPN.com ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Portland Trail Blazers sure are taking the Las Vegas Summer League seriously.

The Trail Blazers will face the Los Angeles Lakers and the Big Baller himself,Lonzo Ball, on Monday night (10 p.m. ET/ESPN) in the Las Vegas Summer League championship game. Ball hopes to be able to play in the title game after leaving Sunday's victory with tightness in his right calf.

Portland wasn't shy about having some fun on social media with the Lakers and Ball. Who needs Big Baller when you have Big Biggie -- better known as rookie Caleb Swanigan?

Swanigan, who played his college ball at Purdue, has been one of the better rookies in the summer league. He had another double-double on Sunday (15 points and 11 rebounds). He is averaging a double-double of 14.9 PPG and 10.4 RPG.

Ball has been a revelation in the summer league, and after a highly scrutinized opening game, he has dominated action in Las Vegas. Ball has four 10-assist games and had 16 points, 10 assists and no turnovers in Sunday's win over the Mavericks before leaving in the third quarter with the calf injury. Ball is averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game in Vegas.

What's been the difference for Ball after a rough start? It could be the shoes.

Wearing his famed Big Baller sneaker, Ball is averaging 8.0 PPG and 8.0 APG. When he's tried more established brands, the results are much better.

As far as Ball's sneaker choice for the Vegas title game? The Trail Blazers may want to request that he go back to hawking shoes and not playing hoops.

-- John Silver