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LaMelo Ball Will Make His Season Debut Against The Rockets

There are a handful of reasons why the Charlotte Hornets have gone 3-10 to start the year, which is tied for the worst mark in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps the biggest has been the absence of LaMelo Ball, the team’s third-year All-Star guard who has not played this year after suffering an ankle sprain during the preseason.

Reports began to indicate that Ball’s time on the sideline could come to an end on Saturday, as the team upgraded him to questionable on the injury report. There was additional optimism when Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN brought word that the plan was for Ball to go through warm-ups prior to that evening’s game against the Houston Rockets with one eye on making his debut.

Eventually, Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer reported that Ball will indeed be active, and the team eventually confirmed that news.

Ball, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has turned into the centerpiece of the franchise in Charlotte. After earning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award during his first year in the Association, Ball earned a spot on the All-Star team in 2021-22. Last season, the youngest Ball brother averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 32.3 minutes per game for the Hornets while connecting on 38.9 percent of his attempts from behind the three-point line.