Charlotte Hornets rookie sensation LaMelo Ball was thought to be lost for the season to a broken wrist about six weeks ago.
At that time the young upstart Hornets were sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. While Ball did miss 21 games, most believed the favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year was done for the season.
He returned on Saturday night as the “Buzz City Boys” knocked off the Pistons 107-94 in Melo’s return.
Ball showed little rust after being out for 40 days, tallying 11 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and two blocks, and at least one “How-do-you-do”‘moment which has the internet buzzing again in 28 minutes of play.
Hornets coach James Borrego said, “It was a breath of fresh air to have that type of jolt back in the gym with us.
All our guys have done a great job playing with pace even before this, but LaMelo really takes us to another level in that regard.”
“If there’s a guy who can come back and not miss a beat it’s LaMelo, he’s just got that type feel and instinct.”
The Hornets have slipped to the eighth spot, while Ball was out which means they’re locked into the play-in game versus the Pacers who sit in the ninth spot.
This young team isn’t ready to probably win a playoff series if they did somehow get through the play-in round, but watching LaMelo play is a joy and that lethal connection of “Air BNB” which consists of Ball to Miles Bridges, is sure to excite all basketball fans.
I believe LaMelo had already secured Rookie of the Year prior to his injury, but this return and the way he positively affects winning just further solidifies it.