The 2022 season will mark year two in the G-League for middle Ball brother, LiAngelo Ball, and all eyes will be squarely on his play all season.
For years, fans have clamored to see LiAngelo win, and join his brothers in the NBA and get a fair shake after some very unfortunate prior circumstances.
It’s no secret. LiAngelo’s time is running out. Being the brother of LaMelo Ball is great, but he has to elicit value on his own in some way to garner sticking around in the organization in some capacity.
LiAngelo’s numbers in the G-League are rather pedestrian on paper with averages of 4.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.3 assists, in 13.2 minutes for 28 games. He’s been lauded as a scorer by his father, LaVar, and if he wants a shot at the big leagues, he has to prove he can add value in one simple area.
The Charlotte Hornets’ last game was an atrocity. My eyes bled watching it, and my head hurts just thinking of the horrendous basketball put on display during their play-in game against the Atlanta Hawks. Plainly put, their shooting stunk.
In that game alone, the Hornets shot 13-41 from 3, which is an embarrassing 31.7 percent. Not to be outdone, its overall field goal percentage was a shocking 37.8 percent.
I don’t need to tell you this level of ineptitude won’t win many games, and the Hawks bounced the Hornets out in deserving fashion in a 132-103 rout.
LiAngelo has not exactly proven himself as a marksman. However, he can score, and earned respect from scouts as a scorer and shooter. At just 6-foot-5, LiAngelo is limited in his style of play, but does possess a bevy of scoring moves, and an unabashed shooter.
If LiAngelo is open, he will shoot, and do so unapologetically.
His 36.1 percent 3-point percentage with the Greensboro Swarm would have ranked 98th in the NBA last season. Not too shabby, but not enough to inspire a call-up from the G-League.
If LiAngelo can inch closer to 40-percent and up for the Swarm, it is plausible he could receive chatter from the organization to join his brother, LaMelo. Can you imagine the fireworks that would go off from a LaMelo to LiAngelo 3-point shot?
As a team, the Hornets shot quite well from 3, but in large part due to Gordon Haywards 39.1 percent average. Hayward was inactive for much of the back-half of the season, and missed the Hornets play-in game as well.
Call it a make or break year, but LiAngelo has a lot to show this season for the Hornets organization.