Hornets Back to Winning Ways As LaMelo Ball Returns to Action

Lamelo Ball Returns Vs Pistons

  • The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Detroit Pistons 107-94 in LaMelo Ball’s first game back after wrist surgery.
  • Ball scored 11 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and issued 8 assists in 27 minutes of action.
  • LaMelo Ball is back as the betting favorite to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year award.

The Charlotte Hornets were free-falling in the team standings entering Saturday’s home games against the Detroit Pistons. But with Charlotte getting two of its key contributors back on Saturday, the Hornets picked up an all-important win that should give them confidence to finish the season strong.

Malik Monk returned from a 15-game absence to score 11 points while LaMelo Ball also played his first game back after missing 21 games with a fractured right wrist.

LaMelo’s Back

Ball played only 27 minutes in his first game back since March 20th. As expected, his shooting was rusty as he went 4-10 from the field, including 1-5 from deep and was just 2-4 from the foul line.

But all things considered, he dazzled in his first game back with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, and two blocked shots plus a solid contender for Pass of the Year.LaMelo was also a +19 when he was on the floor for the Hornets. More importantly, Charlotte won the game 107-94 to snap a two-game skid as we hit the homestretch of the regular season.

Charlotte had gone 10-11 without LaMelo, including 2-8 in their last 10 games. Charlotte went as high as no. 4 in the East prior to Ball’s injury but are now in 8th place, trying to salvage what looked like a sure playoff season when LaMelo was healthy. Now, they may have to win one game in the play-in tournament just to get to the postseason. That’s a tougher route to the playoffs but with Ball back, it’s going to be more doable.

Odds Have Shifted

Ever since the cast on his injured wrist was removed, the betting odds for the NBA’s 2021 Rookie of the Year winner have shifted. As of the latest odds board at the BetOnline App, LaMelo Ball is back as the sizeable odds on favorite at +300. Anthony Edwards, who temporarily was the betting favorite when Ball was out, returned to his deserved spot at second with his +175 odds while Tyrese Haliburton in a far third at +750

Ball took over the Rookie of the Year odds boards in February when the Hornets promoted him to the starting lineup. Before the month was over, he had become the overwhelming favorite until March 20th when he fractured his wrist in a game against the L.A. Clippers. Edwards took over as betting favorite with the premise that LaMelo would miss the rest of the season due to injury. But not only has Ball’s right wrist healed on time, it looks like it’s close to full strength, if not 100% already, Just take a look at this absurd full court scoop pass:

If you weren’t too impressed, just look at that pass from another angle:

No question, that was a top choice for Pass of the Year. And sorry Anthony Edwards, this Hornet is the Rookie of the Year, no doubt about that.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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