Hornets’ LaMelo Ball cleared from COVID protocol, assigned to G League
from Hoops Rumors, with Alex Kirschenbaum, and from YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball has cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team announced (Twitter link). Ball was assigned to Charlotte’s NBA G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, to get back into game shape by practicing with the NBAGL club. Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer adds (via Twitter) that the second-year guard was subsequently recalled from Greensboro following the practice.
The Hornets subsequently announced (Twitter link) that forward Jalen McDaniels has also cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will be available to suit up for Charlotte’s next game, Wednesday against the Spurs.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
Second-year Magic point guard Cole Anthony discussed his candidacy for the 2021-22 Most Improved Player award after a hot start to his sophomore season, in a conversation with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Anthony revealed that being in the running for the award had been a goal ahead of his second season in Orlando. “Coming into this season, that’s an award me and my team talked about winning,” Anthony said. “It’s something that I’d love to win, but at the end of the day, if it happens, it happens. I want to make sure my team is functioning well, everyone is getting better, and that’s a bigger win to me. That being said, I wouldn’t be mad if I won that award. It would be pretty cool to be rewarded for your hard work.” The 6-2 Anthony was drafted with the No. 15 pick by the Magic out of North Carolina. This season, he is averaging 20.5 PPG on .425/.376/.874 shooting splits, plus 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG and 0.9 SPG.
Even though the Wizards began the 2021-22 season with a red-hot 10-3 start, they have since fallen back to earth. They went 5-10 in their 15 most recent contests. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes that the Wizards could greatly benefit from the returns of big men Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant, neither of whom has played a game for Washington this season. Hughes notes that the 24-year-old Bryant is at least a few weeks away as he continues to recuperate from a February ACL surgery. The 23-year-old Hachimura, who has missed every game this season for undisclosed personal reasons, is currently practicing to acclimate his body to NBA-level play again.
The 13-14 Hawks are striving to improve their on-court cohesion after a disappointing start to the 2021-22 season, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “I feel like it’s approach,” recently extended power forward John Collins said. “We need to understand each moment. I don’t think talent, playing the game or any basketball factors are what’s wrong. It’s a matter of analyzation and execution. That’s what needs to change.” Kirschner pinpoints the absences of shot creators Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter, the Hawks’ lackluster reserve point guard play and a lack of defensive intensity as the root causes for Atlanta’s frustrating first few months.