LaMelo Ball had yet another All-Star level outing for the Charlotte Hornets as they gallop to a 5-2 record through their first fortnight of games.
The Hornets came into this game with tons of confidence oozing through their roster. Youngsters Miles Bridges and Kelly Oubre Jr, in addition to PJ Washington, have all gotten off to strong starts this year. Gordon Hayward is playing at his usual levels to start it all off.
Charlotte has already taken elite teams like the Brooklyn Nets to the cleaners this season. But they’re far, FAR from done announcing their arrival on the big stages yet, as their win over the Blazers shows.
LaMelo Ball has been such an infusion of fresh air into the North Carolina franchise that his influence simply can’t be overstated. The sophomore put on yet another spectacular offensive display in the Hornets’ dub tonight.
Gordon Hayward decidedly took a backseat in order to get his star youngster going, and Melo didn’t disappoint. The 20-year-old finished the night with figures of 27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 50% shooting on 20 shots.
He was taking a ton of chances with both his passing as well as while searching for his shot. And perhaps the most reassuring stat of the night for him in this context is his lone turnover.
Melo also added what should be the highlight of his season thus far, putting an elite defender on skates.
LaMelo Ball crosses Larry Nance Jr into oblivion, Nance wasn’t even guarding him
The Blazers carried a 6-point halftime lead to their locker room on the road. It was clear that James Borrego had had a few words with his young star, for LaMelo came out looking for his shot way more aggressively than he did earlier in the game.
And the Hornets offense was rewarded by this forward approach to scoring taken by the youngest Ball brother. They clawed their way back to tie it all up by the mid-way point of the 3rd quarter. And it was Melo with perhaps the highlight and the turning point of the game.
The youngster had Larry Nance Jr guarding him on the right wing when he sought a switch onto Cody Zeller. As Nance retreated into the paint on the switch, he appeared to slip on a wet spot.
Lamelo crosses someone who wasn’t even guarding him into oblivion pic.twitter.com/0SNVRHx5JC
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) November 1, 2021
The commotion was enough for Melo to rise up for a sweet jumper and give the Hornets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
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