The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 111-95 on Sunday. Given that the latter group came in as a favorite to win the title this year and the former is one of the league’s less experienced squads, the end result was pretty surprising.
Equally remarkable was the fact that Hornets star LaMelo Ball saw very little action in the fourth quarter. Instead, backup Ish Smith received the majority of the playing time – ultimately finishing with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the game.
After the fact, Hornets head coach James Borrego explained to the media why Ball was passed over in favor of Smith late in Sunday’s affair.
The rationale speaks for itself:
JB says LaMelo Ball told him to “ride out Ish” in the fourth quarter
— Sam Perley (@sam_perley) October 24, 2021
James Borrego said he gives LaMelo a lot of credit because he wanted Ish Smith to stay in the game in the fourth quarter because they were playing so well with him. pic.twitter.com/ml3pAluXb8
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) October 24, 2021
Ball would go on to finish the game with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. More importantly, with this win Charlotte has now improved to 3-0 on the year.
Given how well the Hornets are playing, it’s no surprise Ball is really feeling himself. Just last week he boldly called out LeBron James and Kevin Durant – and understandably so. He’s coming for the crown. Both on and off the court, the youngster is a stud.
Yikes Tony Romo.https://t.co/EfsWqCySRJ
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 25, 2021
Will Ball and the Hornets be able to keep this magical run going all season long? Time will tell.