Tuesday, May 30 2023
Detroit Pistons v Charlotte Hornets
David Jensen / Getty Images

LaMelo Ball broke his right ankle in Monday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons, the Charlotte Hornets announced. The play came in the third quarter, with the Hornets leading by double digits. Ball was handling the basketball and attempted a behind-the-back dribble. He fell to the ground afterward in significant pain. He left the game and did not return from there.

The Hornets held on for a precarious 117-106 win, their fourth straight, but Ball’s injury puts a damper on any positive vibes this streak might have generated. Ball leads the Hornets in points (23.4) and assists (8.5) per game this season, and his 3.9 made 3-pointers per game ranks fourth in the NBA behind only Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard.

Charlotte had already fallen out of playoff contention this season. Still, Ball’s history of ankle injuries is concerning for a franchise that badly needs him to serve as their cornerstone moving forward. Ball missed the first 13 games of this season due to a sprained left ankle, and then he rolled that ankle in just his third game back for the season and wound up missing another 11 games.

At 20-43, the Hornets have little left to play for this season. They will, therefore, likely be as cautious as possible as Ball rehabs his injury, so the odds are against him taking the floor again this season. But Ball is eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and the Hornets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016. This is a significant setback for all parties involved, and now all they can hope is that Ball’s injuries don’t recur beyond the season. 

Source: CBSSports.com


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