Charlotte Hornets: Predicting LaMelo Ball’s 2021-22 stats

The Charlotte Hornets are one of the most interesting teams in the NBA. There’s a lot to like about what they are building, particularly how it fits around their young star LaMelo Ball.

General manager Mitch Kupchak has made sure to add all sorts of athleticism around Ball, first with the draft picks of Kai Jones and James Bouknight, followed by the addition of Kelly Oubre in free agency. Ball brings a unique skill set to the point guard position, and he naturally makes everyone around him better. Predicting his stats for this upcoming season, though, is an interesting task.

Charlotte Hornets: Predicting LaMelo Ball’s 2021-22 stats

LaMelo Ball 2020-21 statistics:
15.7 PPG
5.9 RPG
6.1 APG
1.6 SPG
44/35/76 shooting splits

POINTS: 18 points per game

LaMelo Ball’s scoring rate should theoretically increase this season. First, he is likely going to start every game that he plays – something that did not happen last season. Additionally, there is less scoring in the backcourt than the previous year following the Devonte’ Graham trade. While Graham was not necessarily known for his efficiency inside the 3-point line, he did score at a pretty large clip.

REBOUNDS: 7 rebounds per game

There shouldn’t be too much that changes here. LaMelo Ball is one of the better rebounders on the Charlotte Hornets, and he pushes the ball in transition when needed. I would go as far as saying Ball is already one of the best transition players in the NBA – in large part due to his rebounding ability.

ASSISTS: 7 assists per game

In terms of LaMelo Ball’s playmaking ability, perhaps the next progression in his game would be to cut down on the turnovers (2.8 TOV per game) rather than increase the total amount of assists he has. While Ball is already a phenomenal passer, there were some mistakes that he made last season that need correcting.

Charlotte Hornets: Predicting LaMelo Ball’s 2021-22 stats

STEALS: 1.5 steals per game

It’s hard to see Ball progressing in terms of the amount of steals he will get. Being a 6-foot-8 point guard, it was promising to see the level which Ball performed off-the-ball defensively, especially considering what the expectations were in that area prior to the season. Obviously his frame helps, but Ball needs to become more consistent in terms of his on-ball defense, particularly on the perimeter.

EFFICIENCY: 46/36/76

LaMelo Ball was an average player in strict terms of efficiency. He clearly was able to show that he can, in fact, score beyond the 3-point line, and it very good at taking advantage of mismatches, as well. If Ball can become more consistent in how he goes about scoring, the sky is the limit.

Final stat line prediction:
18 points
7 rebounds
7 assists
1.5 steals
46/36/76 splits