Coming into the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball was widely considered on of the best (and riskiest) prospects in a talented lottery pool.
Bursting onto the NBA scene with a slew of flashy assists, the rookie’s court vision and basketball instincts were undeniable. But, with that potential came an equal dose of doubt. With a clear struggle to put points on the board early, Ball’s scoring efficiency was called into question from the jump.
In recent weeks, the No. 3 overall pick has started to put those doubts to rest. Over his last 10 games with the Charlotte Hornets, Ball is averaging 21 points, 6.6 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game.
With Ball’s uptick in production, the NBA world is starting to take notice.
“He’s playing amazing,” Curry told reporters on Tuesday. “There was a lot of talk about what he could show his rookie year. He’s surprising a lot of people.”
Warriors face Charlotte on Saturday. Steph Curry asked about LaMelo Ball in advance: “He’s playing amazing. There was a lot of talk about what he could show his rookie year. He’s surprising a lot of people.”
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 17, 2021
Ball’s improvement through the first two months of the season has been incredible.
In his debut NBA game on Dec. 23, the inexperienced PG notched zero points and three turnovers through 16 minutes of play. On Feb. 5, he collected a career-high 34 points in a loss to the Utah Jazz.
Just this Monday, Ball put together an even more impressive game — leading the Hornets with a near triple-double 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in a win over the Rockets. With this performance, he joins Curry in some elite company.
Draining seven threes in a single game (7-12), Ball became just the third rookie in NBA history (Curry, Jason Kidd) to reach that mark.
Ball’s improved play can largely be attributed to his increase in minutes. After coming off the bench for the first 20 games of the season, the former overseas pro has now notched eight starts in a row.
Ball and the Hornets will face off against Curry and the Warriors this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. E.T.
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