Report: LaMelo Ball could make season debut in Charlotte Hornets game vs. Miami Heat

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The Miami Heat could face a much tougher Charlotte Hornets team than they expected on Saturday, as it appears as though star guard LaMelo Ball could be making his season debut.

Ball has been out to start the season due to a sprain in his left ankle.

Of course, Ball returning to the Hornets would give the team a big boost. Last season, Ball averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game.

After getting off to a rocky start on the season, the Heat are 3-2 in their last five games. Things are trending in the right direction for the team. The Heat’s most recent win came against the Hornets on Thursday.

In that game, Heat forward Jimmy Butler impressed with a superstar effort and dropped 35 points along with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Big man Bam Adebayo put in a strong showing as well, with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four assists on the night.

As for the Hornets, their leading contributors were Kelly Oubre Jr., who had 29 points, seven boards and two assists, and Terry Rozier, who finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The Heat won that game, 117-112, so while the Heat should still feel good about their chances on Saturday, a win is certainly not guaranteed.

Right now, Miami is 5-7 on the 2022-23 campaign. Aside from having a lackluster record, many experts and analysts have expressed concern about the level of talent on the roster.

Very recently, famed sports pundit Bill Simmons expressed his belief that the Heat, who were just one win away from a trip to the 2022 NBA Finals, will end up this season as a play-in team.

“Miami might be dead,” he said. “That run might be done. The 2020 Finals, almost making the Finals last year. … They don’t have a lot of options for the regular season. I think they’re going to be a play-in team.”

At the moment, it certainly looks like the Heat could end up at risk of having to compete in the play-in tournament to advance to the playoffs. Still, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and the rest of the organization is sure to use all the doubt as motivation.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.