The Charlotte Hornets are still in contention for the playoffs and LaMelo Ball has played an instrumental role in that happening. The rookie, who was picked as the third overall pick in the 2020 Draft, has lived up to expectations so far, averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
There were doubts about the youngest Ball brother's ability to succeed in the NBA, especially considering the drama around him and his family, coupled with the fact that he was coming from the Australian league. However, the young point guard has quashed all those rumors in his debut year and is a favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award.
LaMelo Ball - When will the star rookie return to the court?
According to various injury reports, LaMelo Ball is a game-time decision for the Charlotte Hornets vs. Detroit Pistons game, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow. Ball broke his wrist while playing against the LA Clippers last month and it was believed that the rookie's season was over following that injury.
However, the Charlotte Hornets revealed a positive update on 20th April, disclosing that LaMelo Ball will be able to resume individual basketball activity. He was seen taking shots and warming up in a recent fixture against the Milwaukee Bucks, signaling a return to the lineup.
How have the Charlotte Hornets fared in LaMelo Ball's absence?
Before LaMelo Ball went down with a wrist injury, the Charlotte Hornets were 20-21 and were in a good position to qualify for the postseason. In his absence, they have managed a 10-11 record, including a four-game losing streak.
They were the fifth seed in the East with the potential to move to fourth. However, the Hornets currently find themselves in eighth place, which is a testament to how detrimental LaMelo Ball's absence has been for James Borrego's side.
The Charlotte Hornets have missed LaMelo Ball's ability to create chances in transition, as the point guard is adept at throwing long passes, which leads to easy lay-ups and dunks. No other Hornets star can pull off these kinds of assists, taking away a crucial part of Charlotte's offense.
Playmaking in general has been subpar for the Hornets in Ball and Gordon Hayward's absence. Terry Rozier is a shooting guard by nature and Devonte' Graham just has not been up to the mark this year.
After a mid-April 103-90 loss to the minnows Cleveland Cavaliers, this is what Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego had to say about their offensive situation:
"We’re limited offensively right now. We’ll try to get to 100 points as much as we can. It’s going to be a challenge. No excuses, this is our group. Whoever’s available on Friday, I’ll play, and we move forward."
LaMelo Ball has a stellar 121 individual offensive rating and a 105 defensive rating when the Charlotte Hornets win. It is no surprise that the management wants him back on the court as soon as possible.