In his first matchup with the Golden State Warriors, rookie phenom LaMelo Ball registered a quiet performance. During the Charlotte Hornets’ buzzer-beating win over the Warriors, The 2020 No. 3 overall pick tallied seven points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field with seven assists, three boards and two steals in 32 minutes.
Despite a slow opening run against the Warriors, Ball is firmly in the race for Rookie of the Year. The 19-year-old point guard is averaging 14.8 points on 43.7% shooting with 6.1 assists and six rebounds in 28.3 minutes in 31 games.
On Friday night, Ball will have another crack at the Warriors with a trip to San Francisco on the schedule. Prior to Golden State’s tilt with Charlotte at Chase Center, Steve Kerr praised Ball. In a pregame video conference with reporters, Kerr called the point guard “a really terrific player.”
I think he’s very unique. He reminds me a little bit of his brother, just the fluidity, willingness to throw the ball ahead in transition. He’s definitely a real point guard. Those are few and far between these days. Most young point guards want to grow up to be Steph or Damian Lillard, to be lethal shooters and LaMelo is kind of old school — pass-first point guard who is showing that he can shoot too. Really a terrific young player.
Along with his debut in the Bay Area, Ball will face off against fellow top draft pick James Wiseman for the first time. Wiseman was sidelined for his first opportunity against Ball with a wrist injury.
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