A transcendent rookie makes tanking, or at least tanking-adjacent paths, seem so smart. Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball is one of those rookies.

Ball is going to win rookie of the year, barring an injury. The third-overall pick came into Saturday’s game against the Raptors averaging 15.6 points, 6.4 assists and 6.0 rebounds game. One of the biggest questions about his game coming into the league was his shot. Well, he stuck a half dozen 3s in a 114-104 Hornets win that was nowhere near that close.

Ball is special. From the start of the game, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. The Hornets hit 21 3-pointers, including 11 in the first quarter, tying a league record, and Ball was involved in so many of them. He was responsible for putting the Raptors on their heels, pushing the pace even after made Raptors buckets.





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