They say you always remember your first, but this is a night LaMelo Ball will likely try to forget.
Ball, the 19-year-old who was picked with the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft, was held scoreless in his NBA debut Wednesday night. He was 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-3 on 3-point attempts in 16 minutes off the bench. Ball also had three turnovers with three assists, two steals and one rebound as the Cavaliers won, 121-114.
Two of Ball’s turnovers and one of his steals came in the same sequence, which adequately summed up the rookie’s night in a single play.
In worse news for Charlotte, center Cody Zeller left the game in the third quarter with a fractured left hand. It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.
Hornets guard Terry Rozier led all scorers with 42 points on 15-for-23 shooting, including a scorching 10-for-16 on 3-point attempts. Cavaliers third-year guard Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 27 points on 9-for-16 from the field.
LaMelo’s much-anticipated debut bears similarities to his older brother’s. Lonzo Ball, taken with the No. 2 pick by the Lakers in the 2017 draft, scored three points in 29 minutes in his NBA debut, shooting 1-for-6 from the field. He also grabbed nine rebounds with four assists, one steal and two turnovers.
Things improved drastically for Lonzo in his second time out, as he scored 29 points with 11 rebounds and nine assists in a win against the Suns. LaMelo will get another chance when the Hornets face the Thunder at home on Saturday.