Charlotte Hornets: Breakdown of LaMelo Ball’s start to his Hornets career

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets no.3 pick of the 2020 NBA Draft may already be the most hyped Hornets player EVER. But realistic expectations are needed for this raw prospect’s rookie season.

LaMelo Ball is a SUPERSTAR off the court. Mentioning his name in your YouTube video is a one-way ticket to 100,000+ views. He has more Instagram followers alone than the other members of the Charlotte Hornets roster combined.

But on-court, LaMelo has been expected to be a superstar from day one too. He was established as an early favorite for Rookie of the Year before the season began, and his game by game performances are already being scrutinized on Shannon Sharpe and Skiiiiiiyyyyupp Bayless’ “UNDISPUTED” program.

In reality, Ball was one of the rawest prospects EVER drafted in the top 3 of an NBA draft. To quote IMHO the best draft analyst out there, Joseph Nation(follow him on Twitter @jaynay1) from his piece “Conjunction and Disjunction Bias in the NBA draft:”

"LaMelo Ball needs a bunch of things to go right. He needs to learn how to finish through contact. He needs for his jump shot to be usable. He needs to be an average off-ball defender so that he can be hidden. He needs to improve his burst. And if any of those traits is missing, he’s probably not a good player, and it’s highly likely that some of those traits will be missing given that he ranges from bad to exceptionally bad at all of them currently."

Whilst LaMelo’s ballhandling and passing are genuinely exceptional skills even at the professional level, his overall volume of deficiencies make it hard for him to succeed as a rookie. This piece will breakdown LaMelo’s pre-season and early regular-season tape to explain how his effectiveness is currently limited in the NBA if there are ways to mitigate his deficiencies short and long term, and what our realistic expectations for LaMelo can be.

Next. Breaking down LaMelo's current play. dark