LaMelo Ball ankle injury

LaMelo suffers ankle fracture: Opportunities for Smith and Bouknight

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Read below for the latest LaMelo Ball injury update, and how Ball’s injury could affect the Charlotte Hornets rotation.

Another ankle injury could force Charlotte Hornets star guard LaMelo Ball to sit out the remainder of the 2022-23 NBA season. Ball was in the middle of another excellent individual performance during Monday’s contest with the Detroit Pistons when he suddenly went down with an apparent non-contact injury in the third quarter.

LaMelo Ball injury 2023

The 6-foot-7 point guard finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists but did not return after almost 21 minutes of play. Later after the game, the Hornets reported that Ball had suffered a fracture to his right ankle, a setback that could shut down his season for good.

While there’s still no definite report regarding Ball’s recovery timetable, there are reasons to believe we won’t see him play again this season. For one, the Hornets may be out of the playoff picture by now. They currently hold the fourth-worst record in the league (20-43), and with their lead guard gone, they might further tumble down the standings.

With this recent injury to Ball, what would the Hornets’ rotation look like for the rest of the season? Let’s find out.


Hornets’ starting five after LaMelo’s broken ankle

Rozier, Hayward, and Williams are the Hornets’ surefire starters after the Ball injury. As of late, Williams has been a revelation, hauling double-double numbers in three of the Hornets’ last four games, including an 18-point, 20-rebound performance against All-Star center Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat.

The Hornets would surely need someone to fill in the playmaking void left by Ball’s injury, which could pave the way for Smith to start. Smith isn’t a household name in terms of playmaking, but he has been instrumental during the Hornets’ current five-game winning streak. He had nine assists in the win against the San Antonio Spurs, then dished out seven assists against the Pistons.

If there’s a question mark here, it would be Thor’s inclusion. With their regular starting power forward P.J. Washington nursing a foot injury, the Hornets put Thor as the replacement starter in the last two games. However, Thor hasn’t done much, only averaging 3.5 points, 0.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 23 minutes as a starter.

In addition, also look for the Hornets to give James Bouknight some playing time out there. Bouknight has yet to see action since January, and this might be the opportune time for him to get some reps in.

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