After beating Brooklyn at his last performance, the Charlotte Hornets had their most round meeting of 2020-2021 in their visit to the Dallas Mavericks and they were imposed by 118-99, in a match with differences greater than what the final score indicates. Those of Borrego already had the history sentenced in the third period, reaching a maximum advantage of 31 points. All against a Texan team that had just overcome the Clippers by 51 points.
In the winner there was a lot to rescue, including a defensive production that left a great attack like that of the Mavericks in less than 100 points and with 39% of the field. Although of course, the story of the night was the performance of LaMelo Ball.
– NBA (@NBA) December 31, 2020
The point guard had had ups and downs in the previous three games, but showed an extraordinary image on Tuesday. He was by far the most decisive of the match, not only being the highest scorer of the same (22 points), but also adding 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 cap, a 7-10 from the field, a 4-5 in triples and 4-4 in free practice. A performance close to perfection, in just 29 minutes on the field.
The feeling is that it won’t be too long until Ball’s role in Borrego’s rotation grows. The rookie came out again as the second replacement among the backup guards, with Cody Martin being the first. However, Martin ended up playing just 8 minutes, while Ball was the star of the crash. With that in mind It would not be strange to see LaMelo with more participation in Charlotte’s next match: Friday against the diminished Memphis. It is understood the coach’s intention to take the rookie in little by little … but in terms of level and potential, there is no comparison between Ball and Martin.
LaMelo from DEEP ???? pic.twitter.com/3IkAYhi1wq
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 31, 2020
His performance this Tuesday was an exact sample of why LaMelo is considered one of the rookies with the highest potential in this 2020 class, if not the most. Beyond the fact that he was right with the basket, his impact was felt well beyond the touchdown, constantly generating comfortable shots for his teammates, increasing the rhythm of the offenses and giving Charlotte a very marked dynamic, every time he touched the ball . He will have better and worse games, but not many players his age are capable of such performances in just his fourth appearance in the league.
One of the players with whom Ball has already found a very interesting chemistry is with Miles Bridges, who seems to have found a comfortable spot as the team’s sixth man. The former Michigan State also shone against Dallas, finishing with 20 points, 16 rebounds and a pair of blocks.. The Hornets’ third scorer was Terry Rozier with 18 points, key to finish opening the scoring in the third quarter.
– Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 31, 2020
That Charlotte was able to win with this comfort in a game in which Gordon Hayward only added 11 points and shot 4-16 from the court speaks really well of them. Beyond their 2-2 record, the Hornets’ feelings this first week far exceed expectations.
Luka does not sharpen his aim
While all the analysis is positive on Charlotte’s side, the story is very different for a Dallas that went 1-3. Yes, Carlisle’s men came from a magnificent performance against the Clippers, but taking that game out, what they are showing in this 2020-2021 is not good at all.
Especially when it comes to the level of Luka Doncic, who remains very low for his usual standard. The Slovenian finished with 12 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds, with a 4-10 from the field and a 0-5 on triples. It has been a long time since a Luka has been seen so indeterminate and imprecise, showing signs of frustration and evidently paying for the poor physical condition in which he is.
Doncic is now 2-21 in triples so far in 2020-2021. Without Kristaps Porzingis, it is logical that Dallas will not be competitive if the former Real Madrid does not improve its image.
Nobody passes it like the Hornets
Charlotte’s idea of bringing together multiple on-court playmakers couldn’t be paying off better.. The Hornets entered tonight as the best assist team in the competition (30.3), even though they were only 12th in field conversions (41.7). That is to say that 72.7% of his annotations came assisted, also the best mark in the league.
What happened this Tuesday was exactly in those values: 30 assists over 43 conversions. But the most interesting thing is the amount of hands that add up in that aspect: against the Mavs there were seven different players who distributed at least 3 assists, led by Devonte ‘Graham’s 5 and LaMelo Ball himself.
– Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 31, 2020
For the first time in a long time The Hornets are becoming a very interesting team to watch and with a player that if he delivers on what he promises, can be talked about for years. This was confirmed by the Mavericks on Tuesday.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.