LaMelo Ball's preseason debut: 0 points, 4 turnovers and some jaw-dropping passes

It didn’t take long for LaMelo Ball to establish a couple of facts in his preseason debut on Saturday:

  1. He has a lot to work on before becoming a reliable threat on offense.

  2. He is already one of the most entertaining facilitators in the NBA.

In his preseason debut, the Charlotte Hornets rookie finished with zero points on 0-of-5 shooting, 4 assists, 10 rebounds and 4 turnovers in 16 minutes. It was an uneven night for one of the most divisive prospects of the 2020 NBA draft, but it was also hard not to get excited by some of the passes he was making.

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Like this no-look, behind-the-back assist in transition that can only really be appreciated after seeing the replay.

There were also full-court outlet passes for easy buckets.

And drives to the paint that had the Toronto Raptors defense fooled.

Add that passing to the size (6-foot-7) that allows you to haul in 10 rebounds, and it’s easy to see why the Hornets made Ball the third overall pick in the draft.


Of course, Ball recording zero points despite taking five shots also isn’t what you want to see from a player whose jump shot was a real concern going into the draft, but there is plenty of time to work on that. This kind of court vision and touch is much harder to teach.

Even though the Hornets aren’t expected to be a major factor in the East this season, Ball likely won’t be seeing heavy minutes his rookie season with Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier ahead of him. His next chance to make some noise will be another game against the Raptors on Monday, with two more games scheduled before the Hornets’ season opener on Dec. 23.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 12: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles against DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Toronto Raptors during the second half of their game against the Toronto Raptors at Spectrum Center on December 12, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball's passing is special. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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