Charlotte Hornets Receives Massive LaMelo Ball Update

NBA Analytics Network

The 2022-2023 season was a tough one for the Charlotte Hornets, who are among the worst teams in the NBA. They are tied with the Detroit Pistons for the fewest wins in the NBA with just seven and injuries are a big reason why.

The Pistons announced this week that their star point guard, Cade Cunningham, will undergo season-ending surgery. Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, will have to finish his sophomore season after just 12 games.

That’s four times as many games as Hornet’s All-Star guard LaMelo Ball has played, but at least Ball is returning to the field.

Ball started the season on the sidelines due to an ankle injury sustained during the preseason. He missed the first 13 games of the season before making his debut. Ball played in three games before suffering another ankle sprain, this time from stepping on the foot of a fan sitting courtside.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LaMelo Ball & Charlotte Hornets Updates

After missing 11 games as a result, Ball is nearing a return. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, that return could come tonight against the Detroit Pistons. Ball has been upgraded to iffy and is hopeful he can take the field. A decision on his status is made during the warm-up, where it is decided if he is ready to play.

That’s certainly encouraging news for the Hornets, who have struggled mightily without him in the lineup. Charlotte also plays without his backup, Dennis Smith Jr., who has not played since November 23.

Without their two point guards, Steve Clifford has turned to Theo Maledon and Bryce McGowens in the backcourt, while Terry Rozier took over point guard duties. Gordon Hayward has also been sidelined a lot, leaving the Hornets without much to work with.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LaMelo Ball & Charlotte Hornets Updates

Getting Ball back in the lineup will be a huge boost, at least offensively. The Hornets are currently last in the NBA in offensive rating after finishing ninth last season. In his three appearances, Ball averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 32.7 minutes per game.

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