LaMelo Ball was held scoreless in his first NBA preseason game, but that didn't stop him from making highlights. The Charlotte Hornets selected Ball with the third pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, entrusting the future of their franchise to the 19-year-old. It may take him a while to adjust to the competition at this level, but he should be a lot of fun to watch along the way.
In the team's preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, Ball finished with no points and was 0-of-5 from the field, but he did rack up 10 rebounds and four assists, several of which were highlight-worthy plays:
He continued that trend on Monday as the Hornets and Raptors locked horns again. He finally got on the board by hitting a 3-pointer from the corner:
He followed that up by tossing a gorgeous left-handed alley-oop to Jalen McDaniels on the break:
And another lob in traffic to Miles Bridges:
Ball is really fun to watch. This shouldn't surprise anyone who watched his film from Australia last season. He has developed tremendously since his time as a 16-year-old playing for Prienai in Lithuania. There were some really good players in the 2020 draft, but based on how he played Down Under last season, I thought he was the best of the bunch. If his shooting comes along, he's going to prove me right.
For now, Ball is a 6-foot-8 point guard who can rebound, has phenomenal court vision, an off-the-charts basketball IQ and is an excellent ball-handler. Expect him to fill the stat sheet when he plays this season, and be prepared for a lot of highlight-reel assists.
I know the Ball family is triggering for a lot of people, but LaMelo is really fun. Just sit back and enjoy watching him play the game.