Skip to main content

Woj confirmed LaMelo Ball is coming back and explained the playoff implications of his return


After LaMelo Ball broke his wrist, everyone crossed off the Hornets. Then Gordon Hayward got injured, and some predicted a full-on tank job. Last night, the Hornets easily handled the Celtics, winning 125 - 104, and are now only 1.5 games back from the 6th seed and out of the play-in tournament. Last night's victory was that much more important because it is held by the Celtics, but even the win wasn't the best news of the day for Charlotte.

“I'm told Charlotte is probably a week away from getting LaMelo Ball back in the lineup. He went out with that fractured wrist, recovered faster than they imagined - they thought he might be out for the season. Ball wants to play; he pushed to come back. Not only do they get Ball back as soon as next weekend, but Malik Monk is on a similar timetable. Gordon Hayward, who was having an outstanding season for Charlotte, they expect to have him back before the playoffs.”

Adrien Wojnarowski, NBA Countdown

Getting LaMelo, Hayward and Monk is huge for the Hornets. Next to the Knicks, they are the surprise of the season, and other teams can't be too happy the Hornets are firmly in the playoff picture. Woj and Jalen Rose still think they will be in the play-in and made his prediction of the outcome of the new addition to the playoff format. To remind you, the 7 and 8 seed play for the 7th spot. Then the loser of that game plays the winner of 9-10 for the 8th spot. Here's how Rose sees the standings after all regular-season games are played.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

7. Miami Heat
8. Charlotte Hornets
9. Indiana Pacers
10. Washington Wizards 

Basically, Jalen thinks the status quo will continue until the end of the season. Then, the 7 and the 8 seed play - Jalen thinks Miami will win that game and go into the Playoffs as the 7th seed. In the 9 - 10 matchup, Rose thinks the Wizards will win and get the chance to win that 8th spot against the Hornets. But, with LaMelo and Hayward back, Rose predicts a Hornets victory. What about the West?

7. Portland Trail Blazers
8. Memphis Grizzlies
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. Golden State Warriors

What a monster group. Rose and Woj have the Grizzlies grabbing that 7th spot and then predicts a must-watch game for the 8th seed between the Blazers and the Warriors. If we get Dame vs. Steph in a winner-goes-to-the-playoffs situation, that could be one of the most viewed games of the entire season. 

Most teams have about 12 games left to play in the season, and the race to avoid the play-in altogether and the battle for positioning inside that play-in bracket is as close as possible. We're gonna be monitoring the situation daily for what is promising to be a tremendous few days of basketball in May. Hopefully, with a fully healthy Charlotte Hornets team in the mix. 

LeBron James & John Salley

John Salley praises LeBron James for calling out the media’s coverage of the Jerry Jones picture - “Everybody wanting to call LeBron a sellout; no, you can’t”

Salley believes that James can no longer be labeled a sellout after he stepped up and voiced his concerns on an issue that not many people are paying attention to

Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic

Kristaps Porzingis opens up about his failed partnership with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks - “I just wasn’t the right guy”

When asked about his failed stint with the Mavs, Porzingis admitted that he and Luka Doncic were not a strong fit on the court together

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.

Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade

“Being able to stay out to 5AM and still score 40” — Dwyane Wade on his favorite memory from the 2006 Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade still couldn't help but be elated whenever he looked back at his 2006 run with the Miami Heat.

Sacramento Kings guards Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

“They were both awesome in their way for our team” — Ex-Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard compares Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

Former Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard was asked to appoint the better point guard between Jason Williams and Mike Bibby.