Terry Rozier says LaMelo Ball is a star in the making: ‘He’s special’

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Jacob Rude
·2 min read
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As LaMelo Ball continues to separate himself from the field in the Rookie of the Year race, nights like Monday are becoming more commonplace even if they are still special. Albeit in a losing effort, Ball finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals, becoming the youngest player in league history to achieve that stat line.

“He’s special,” Terry Rozier said. “He’s special. We’ve got a star in the making. I would just tell people just to enjoy it because you ain’t gonna really going to see too many people like him. He’s a special talent, special person, great person. He deserves everything that’s coming his way.

“So I’ll just tell people just enjoy it because you ain’t going to see too many guys like this ever.”

The Hornets needed every bit of it to stay attached to the Blazers on the night. Portland, though, broke the franchise record for 3-pointers with 24 on the night, running away in the fourth quarter from a gassed Charlotte side.

Ball did everything he could in the second half to keep the Hornets in the game, scoring 19 points with four rebounds and four assists in the final two quarters. With Charlotte on the second night of a back-to-back and coming off an emotional victory on Sunday, the gas tank hit empty well before the final buzzer, though.

But Ball’s night was the latest sign of how quickly he’s adapting to the game. With Charlotte undermanned much of the road trip, Ball has averaged 23.4 points, 7.6 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals on 50.6% shooting overall and 45.2% from 3-point range over the last five games.

“Just understanding the game,” Rozier said of the biggest difference in Ball’s game. “I would say that he was always a step ahead for his age, but when you really get in the league, you kind of see what it can do for you. His mind is all the way slowed down and that’s why he’s having the success he’s having versus early in the season. And, obviously, he’s getting more minutes so with those minutes he can show what he can do.”

Ball will have one last chance to put a stamp on the first half of his season on Wednesday as the Hornets end their road trip in Minnesota.