On the Lookout: LaMelo Ball faces LeBron's Lakers for the first time

Published March 18, 2021, 5:00 PMMiguel Flores

LaMelo Ball and the Hornets will go up against LeBron James and the Lakers, who are currently enjoying a three-game win streak despite being shorthanded.

One low-key awesome thing about the game between the Los Angeles Lakers (27-13) and the Charlotte Hornets (20-19) tomorrow (10:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines) is their jersey colors look good together. One high-key awesome thing is they have a fun combination of players to watch.

The Hornets have been a much better team this year both in getting wins and gaining fans. They are right in the middle of the league in offensive and defensive rating, which is impressive considering they were at the bottom half of both categories last season. They also belong in the upper half of the league in terms of highlights produced per game, easily seen on the NBA's Twitter account.

Basketball is just more fun when LaMelo Ball is playing. He’s a lot like Aang from the Avatar: The Last Airbender series in that he seemingly manipulates air to pull off crazy moves. He also seems like he's channeling the powers of past Point Avatars to take over games.

LaMelo is this generation's Peter “Pistol Pete” Maravich and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams, but he doesn’t have a nickname and has 6.6 million Instagram followers.

Ball is the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year with averages of 15.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. The Hornets are also getting a rejuvenated showing from Gordon Hayward, making his signing to Charlotte look like the best move from the last off-season.

Add LaMelo's favorite alley-oop target in PJ Washington and the comeback story of the year in Malik Monk and you have hands down one of the best reasons to buy a League Pass subscription.

The Lakers don't have as much young talent, but they do have LeBron James. On most nights, having LeBron is already enough to win games – a theory which has been proven by past LeBron-led squads. The Lakers are providing more proof to that this season, being one of the teams most affected by the quick turnaround between seasons and the condensed schedule. Anthony Davis has suffered the most out of all the Lakers, having already missed nearly a month and will probably be sidelined for at least three more weeks.

After looking sluggish before the All-Star break, the Lakers have won their last three games. They continue to lead the league in defensive rating, which has helped their middling offensive production.Dennis Schröeder, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have picked up most of the load without AD and they'll be even more important in matching up against Charlotte's threats.

One great thing among millions of great things about Year 18 LeBron is he relishes facing the next generation of stars, as if serving as a final boss for those that will carry the league when he retires. He’s had a lot of fun moments with Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. He almost certainly has something for LaMelo.

It works to the defending champs’ advantage that Charlotte is coming off a tough loss today against the Denver Nuggets. The Hornets' tired legs notwithstanding, this should be a matchup worth watching while having breakfast.