It’s all over for the Charlotte Hornets.
The team was easily taken down by the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in the pivotal play-in tournament, which means their season has concluded and they now get to enjoy their summer break and think about what may come next season.
Powered by their centerpiece, LaMelo Ball, this was supposed to be a huge season for the Hornets.
However, it was Ball himself who seemed to fall apart at the most important moment.
Lamelo Ball during the Regular Season
Lamelo Ball during the Play-In Tournament (2 games)
Margin of Loss:56 Points
When the Play-In lights get bright,Lamelo can’t seem to find a way to shine. pic.twitter.com/7jzsYfiR1c
— Ryan (@thsportsfan1014) April 14, 2022
This was the Hornets’ second year appearing in the play-in tournament and it didn’t look great for Ball.
During the regular season, Ball was averaging 20 points per game with a 42.9% field goal percentage and a 38.9% three-point percentage.
However, during his two play-in appearances Ball is putting up 20 points per game with only a 28.2% field goal percentage and a 30% three-point percentage.
Ball is -48 during the play-in games and the team has fallen by a collective 56 points.
With a drop-off like this, can Ball really be considered a team leader?
He’s a young man whose inexperience is still getting the best of him but he really needs to step it up if the Hornets hope to make the playoffs soon.
While Ball will certainly get better with more time in the league, some experience and expertise from another player will surely help him.
But who can bring that sort of assistance?
There are rumors that the Hornets may trade for Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite his troubles, there is no doubt that Westbrook has a lot of experience and could teach Ball a thing or two.
If Ball is able to be guided a bit, perhaps he can finally become the player many want him to be.
And maybe his next play-in appearance could be a walk in the park.