Sport How the Charlotte Hornets have become the most captivating watch on NBA League Pass this season
2020-21 NBA Rookie Ladder: Who took the top spot from injured LaMelo Ball?
Welcome back to our 2020-21 NBA Rookie Ladder! Every other Friday, we will provide you with updated rankings to track which first-year players are leading the Rookie of the Year race. LaMelo Ball's injury has paved the way for a different first-year player to take the top rank since the first week of this ladder, but who claimed that spot? Also, a new rookie enters the top five for their first time this season.As a follow-up to my 2020 NBA Draft coverage, I will be providing an in-depth look at how this year's rookie class has performed to start their NBA career by ranking the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year every other Friday.
While there is no official award for League Pass Team of the Year (although, maybe there should be), all NBA fans know that there are certain teams each season that draw you in when checking out the nightly slate of games.
In order to be a qualifier for the unofficial title of League Pass Team of the Year, there are a couple of boxes you have to check:
- Limited nationally televised games
- Middle-of-the-pack or fringe-playoff team that plays in a lot of close contests
- Up-and-coming players that are worth watching develop
- Nightly highlight reel-worthy plays
Gordon Hayward exits with foot sprain as Charlotte Hornets beat Indiana Pacers on the road
Already without LaMelo Ball, the Hornets suffered another injury blow, with Gordon Hayward exiting the game against Indiana with a foot sprain.The injury came during the third quarter of the Hornets 114-97 win over Indiana, with the 31-year-old posting 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 19 minutes.
And that's just to name a few. While it's not a prerequisite, it's also a bonus if the broadcast team completes the total package.
In the 2020-21 season, there's one team in particular that completes that checklist – the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets, despite drafting a show-stopping future superstar in 19-year-old phenom LaMelo Ball, still only had one nationally televised game in the first half of the schedule. After the team got out to a quality – and entertaining – start to the season, they were rewarded with four more nationally televised games in the second half of the schedule.
That being said, this left 67 games available to NBA League Pass users to dive into the captivating and electrifying rollercoaster ride that is this year's Hornets. But what is it about this team that has made them the love affair of a general NBA watcher?
NBA: OP Successful: Will Ball return earlier?
Lamelo Ball from the Charlotte Hornets has successfully underwent surgery on his right wrist and should be re-evaluated in about four weeks. Thus, a comeback still seems possible this season against first reports. © Provided by Spox Lamelo Ball was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets. This reports Shams Charania from The Athletic . First, ESPN reported a probable season of the 19-year-old, after the defeat against L.a. Clippers had broken the wrist on the weekend.
Keep your enemies closer
Part of what makes the Hornets must-see-TV is the fact that just as often as not, their games come down to the wire.
They own the league's closest point differential to even (0.0) at -0.4 and have played in 22 "clutch" games this season, meaning games within five points in the final five minutes. Their 16 wins in clutch games are fifth-most in the NBA and their 16-6 record gives them a winning percentage of .727, the fourth-best in the NBA.
So not only is Charlotte competing in a lot of tight games, it is closing them out at a similar rate as some of the best teams in the NBA, like the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers. As a result, the Hornets have produced more than just a handful of big-time shot-making moments down the stretch of games.
While any game-winner is noteworthy, Gordon Hayward'shas actually been a calm finish compared to some others the Hornets have experienced this season.
This Date in NBA History (April 6): Robert Parish becomes NBA's all-time leader in games played & more
Parish, while playing for the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's tally of 1,560 games.Suiting up for the Charlotte Hornets against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Parish surpassed the previous record of 1,560 games set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during his 20-year NBA career.
Can I interest you in Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham trading big buckets to close out the Indiana Pacers?
Or former lottery pick Malik Monk, who has gotten in on the fun twice this season, with one timely shot sending a game into overtime against the Miami Heat (that the Hornets would eventually win)...
... Andthat helped Charlotte complete a miraculous eight-point comeback in the final 50 seconds of a game against the Sacramento Kings.
But really, Rozier has been the team's closer all year long (which we'll expand upon shortly). He also hit a game-winner against the Golden State Warriors...
... And buried two clutch buckets to take care of the Detroit Pistons.
Even when this team loses close games, they do it in a viewer-pleasing fashion, liketo push the Phoenix Suns to overtime.
When you decide to watch a Hornets game this season, you're signing up for nail-biting games with exhilarating finishes. What else could you ask for?
Prove People Wrong: the Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward experience
When Charlotte worked a sign-and-trade to send franchise icon Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics for Rozier, criticism rained down on the front office. Rozier's three-year, $58 million deal was seen to be much too affluent for the at-the-time reserve guard, with big shoes to fill for the player he was swapped for. One-and-a-half seasons later, not only has Rozier exceeded the value of his contract, he's helped the Hornets' brass look brilliant for the decision.
Charlotte Casiraghi "wiped and vulnerable": a lovette unveils the unknown facet of his personality
© KCS Charlotte Casiraghi "woundable and vulnerable": a loved one reveals the unknown facet of his personality Charlotte Casiraghi is a princess of modern times. The Girl of Caroline de Monaco leads his life drum beating between his two children and his many other activities that passionate: horse riding, fashion, production, but also philosophy. Libération devoted a portrait to the pretty brunette 34 years old where we learn more about his personality ...
Rozier is having a career year, averaging 20.7 points per game while shooting an efficient 47.6 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3, all of which are the best marks of his six seasons in the league. The most pleasant surprise – which was touched on above – is that Rozier has turned into one of the best closers in the NBA this season, stepping up to put Charlotte firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Terry Rozier in the clutch this season:
*The best mark by any player with 20+ attempts.— StatMuse (@statmuse)
And then there's his new-but-familiar teammate in Hayward, who also landed with the Hornets in a sign-and-trade fashion with the Celtics. Hayward's four-year, $120 million contract was laughed at this offseason, but not many people are laughing now. The 31-year-old appears to be in the perfect situation to maximize his talents, producing his best season since his lone All-Star appearance as a member of the Utah Jazz back in 2016-17. Averaging nearly 20 points on uber-efficient splits with six boards and four assists per game, Hayward has been the perfect stabilizer for this youthful Hornets roster.
The team is overachieving and a lot of that is in part to the efforts of these two players who were not just counted out by the same former franchise, but NBA stakeholders as a whole.
Patty Mills: San Antonio Spurs guard receives February NBA Cares Community Assist Award
The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10,000 to Indigenous Basketball Australia on behalf of Spurs guard Patty Mills.In February, Indigenous Basketball Australia, which was founded by Mills to provide pathways for Aboriginal Australians to play basketball, tipped off the first-ever Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) for players age 14 and under in eight locations across Australia. The tournaments, which preserve and celebrate Indigenous cultural practices, focus on basketball development and life skills education, including mental and physical well-being as well as strengthening individual identity at a critical age.
Who doesn't love an underdog story? Or a comeback story? That's what the Hornets are utilizing to their advantage this season.
Frequent Flyer Miles
This reason is pretty simple and self-explanatory. Miles Bridges can flat out fly.
Ball to Bridges has become far and away the best alley-oop combination in the NBA, and Bridges is not-so-quietly putting together one of the best individual season in-game dunk highlight packages... ever.
Notice how the Hornets official YouTube account used "Volume 1" in that headline? That's because on a nightly basis, this high-riser is adding to his collection of rim-rattling finishes that will undoubtedly have more volumes to come.
And remember the mention in the intro about how it's a bonus if the team has a quality broadcast team? Charlotte's play-by-play announcer Eric Collins couldn't be a better fit for the product this team puts on the floor, turning each and every SportsCentre Top 10-worthy play.
The Ball-to-Bridges combination, or "AirBnB", as they've dubbed themselves, is just another plus to this complete viewing package.
And of course, the (currently on pause) LaMelo show
While everything else above plays a role, let's be honest, Ball is the reason the Hornets have become one of the most watchable products in the NBA.
The 19-year-old has had an aura about him since he was launching halfcourt shots in high school games, going viral all over the internet for doing things like. From Chino Hills to Spire Academy to Lithuania to the NBL's Next Stars program, there weren't many people that held true and envisioned the youngest Ball brother making an immediate and significant impact in the NBA, but here we are.
Khloe Kardashian lovingly cradles her 'baby bunny' True on Easter
Khloe Kardashian lovingly cradles her 'baby bunny' true in sweet Easter snaps ahead of holiday festivities with her family. The reality tv vets spared no expense at a special day while in Palm SpringsThe 36-year-old Good American founder shared loved up snaps with she and Tristan Thompson's daughter, two, as they nuzzled up together outside of Kris Jenner's desert retreat.
Succeeding from the get-go, Ball has been remarkable as a rookie. It only took 20 games for him to become the full-time starter, establishing himself as future superstar and franchise cornerstone ever since. Ball averaged 19.5 points, 6.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting a quality 46.4 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from 3 in 21 starts prior to an unfortunate wrist injury that will keep him sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Leading his entire rookie class in total points, rebounds and assists by the All-Star break, Ball achieved something that has only been done by five all-time greats – Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Alvan Adams – all of whom went on to have Hall of Fame careers.
He is much more than just the highlight clips you see on Twitter. He's a floor general and a game-changer. He's the Rookie of the Year frontrunner.
Whatever "it" is, LaMelo Ball has "it."
And although a broken wrist will keep the No. 3 overall pick out for, there is still hope that he'll be able to return late in the season to help the Hornets continue their playoff push. As long Charlotte can stay in the hunt until then, we may get to see the league's newest sensation try and take his team on a bit of a postseason run.
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Sunday, April 4 – NBA scores, updates, news, stats, highlights and top fantasy performers .
There were eight NBA games to look forward to on Sunday. Follow along for final scores, stats and highlights from each contest. Dallas Mavericks 109, Washington Wizards 87 Luka Doncic pours in 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Mavs to their fourth-straight win. 26 PTS, 6 AST for @luka7doncic.4 straight wins for @dallasmavs.#MFFL pic.twitter.com/V6oOLmcNmS— NBA (@NBA) April 4, 2021 New York Knicks 125, Detroit Pistons 81 Julius Randle scored a game-high 29 points and eight rebounds as the Knicks snap their three-game skid. WHAT A 1ST QUARTER for Julius Randle!???? 20 PTS ???? 4 3PM ???? pic.twitter.