LaMelo Ball’s embarrassing scoreless debut for the Hornets
Many anticipated a dazzling NBA debut from Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball. He did make his maiden appearance, but it was anything but dazzling.
Ball scored a grand total of zero points in his first ever NBA game, missing all of his five shots in 16 minutes off the bench against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He did have one rebound, three assists and two steals in limited action, but also committed three turnovers.
As per ESPN Statistics and Information, Ball, selected third overall, became only the third top-three pick to be held scoreless in their NBA debut over the last 15 seasons, joining draft busts Greg Oden in 2008 and Hasheem Thabeet in 2009.
LaMelo Ball is the first Top-3 pick to score 0 points in his NBA debut since Otto Porter Jr. (2013).
The only other Top-3 picks to be held scoreless in their NBA debut over the last 15 seasons are Hasheem Thabeet (2009) and Greg Oden (2008).
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 24, 2020
There was much hype about the debut of the 19-year-old Ball, having played impressively in their preseason games. Ball, however, looked a little shaky in a classic case perhaps of rookie jitters.
He even committed an embarrassing string of errors late in the third quarter as he was bringing down the ball against fellow rookie Dylan Windler.
— Shaqtin' a Fool (@shaqtin) December 24, 2020
The Hornets lost to the Cavaliers, 121-114 with Ball barely making an impact. It was Terry Rozier who led the squad in a losing effort, exploding for a career-high 42 points on 10 of 16 shooting from long distance. Gordon Hayward, meanwhile, had a solid debut for the Hornets, finishing with 28 points, four boards, and seven assists.
Hornets coach James Borrego has said that Ball is a project and still have lots of room for improvement. He, however, is confident in the young guard’s skills, especially his playmaking.
LaMelo Ball can bounce back in their next assignment as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.