LaMelo Ball set a high bar in his rookie season, dazzling the NBA world with his combination passing, ball handling and athleticism.
Now entering his second training camp with the Charlotte Hornets, expectations are high that he can go to another level in year two. Head coach James Borrego is confident he can do so.
"He is fully engaged and I love that about him. I expect a big year from him, and I expect him to take another step," said Borrego.
"I want him to take the reins of this program. He's the quarterback, the floor general and for us to take that next step he must run this team, not only on the offensive end but the defensive end as well."
Rookie & The Vet @MELOD1P x @jam3s210 #AllFly pic.twitter.com/UnJjOlSrZp- Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) September 27, 2021
Coming off the bench in his first 20 appearances, Ball would start in his next 31, finishing with averages of 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists to take home Rookie of the Year honours.
"A lot of his success last year was based on instinct and feel. Now his next step is managing who we are, his personnel around him and understanding the league in general. So our conversation as been around our team, our strengths, our values and understanding his teammates."
In what felt like a nightly occurence, Ball would team up with Miles Bridges to produce some of the most jaw dropping alley-oops of the season. The high flying Bridges is excited to see what's next for the young point guard.
.@MELOD1P with the Sky 🪝#AllFly | @DraftKings pic.twitter.com/0oEswpqKsG- Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) October 1, 2021
"We sometimes forget that he's 20 years old," said Bridges. "So he's doing a great job of being a leader on the offensive end. He's just communicating more and that's what we want to work on. It's not hard. He's a very vocal player. But just him just being comfortable with saying stuff" to other players.
For Ball, it's about taking care of the details, communicating and becoming a stronger leader.
"It's going over plays and stuff and watching film and knowing where to be at and where others players are to be. It's leading the pack," Ball said.
"That's a point guard. I'm definitely going to lead. All of my life I've been leading. So it's a great position for me."
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