The Charlotte Hornets have one of the most exciting young players in the NBA in 19-year-old LaMelo Ball. He had a very good game against his older brother Lonzo earlier in the season and then had a triple-double, making him the youngest in league history to accomplish that feat.
However, as is the case with any young player or really any player for that matter, there are ups and downs along the way. In a stretch of nearly half of the relatively young regular season, LaMelo Ball averaged nearly 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game. Lately he’s been playing much less consistently and has seen his playing time diminish. The averages dipped to 11 points, six assists and four rebounds, hitting barely over 40 percent of his shots.
Head coach James Borrego defending sitting ball much of the games against the Chicago Bulls, indicating that five turnovers in 16 minutes is unacceptable. When the offensive game isn’t there, Borrego said something must be done on the defensive end to stay in the game. Lately, he’s failed at both and Borrego indicates LaMelo Ball must get better and notes that it’s inside Ball, just has to find it again.
LaMelo Ball’s father LaVar, who has always been outspoken about his son’s abilities on the court, clearly says LaMelo isn’t happy about sitting. He insists his sons are not role players, but superstars. I beg to differ, if you look at Lonzo’s pitiful career shooting percentages of under 40 percent from the floor and under 50 percent from the free throw line. LaMelo could be a star someday, but he’s played only 15 NBA games. Again, LaVar’s big mouth is doing more harm than good. There is nothing that shows either of his sons are at this point superstars in the NBA.
Ranked near the bottom of the Eastern Conference after dropping their last four, the team must look at the big picture when it comes to Ball. Sitting him for the best of the team would slow his growth, but the team could win more games. However, playing him and letting him learn on the fly perhaps could lead to more losses, but then higher draft picks following the season. It’s a difficult balancing act the Borrega and the Hornets need to figure out moving forward.