Monday, January 24, 2022

The Battle Of The Ball Brothers Was Entertaining

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The Chicago Bulls hosted the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night for a battle of two Eastern Conference playoff teams and the battle of the Ball brothers.



Lonzo Ball, the Bulls starting point guard, came into the game averaging 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. He is shooting 41.5 percent from the field and an electric career-high 43.2 percent from distance this season.

Lamelo Ball, the youngest of the three Ball brothers, came to the United Center averaging 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and eight assists per game. He leads his team in rebounds and assists and ranks seventh in the NBA in assists this season. Lamelo is shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three.

As anticipated, the brothers guarded each other to start the game. Lonzo kept Lamelo humble, leaving him with three points at the half and blocking one of his shots at the rim. Lamelo shot 1-for-6 from the field going into the half.

But, that wasn’t the end for the younger brother.

He came back strong in the second half, scoring 15 points and ending with 13 assists and seven rebounds. In one sequence, Lamelo created enough space from Lonzo to create “oo’s” and “ah’s” from the crowd, as he stepped back and drained a three from the wing.

In the end, Lonzo won the battle of the brothers — the third between the two.

Lonzo ended with 16 points, eight assists, and one rebound. He shot 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He had plenty of defensive stops against his younger brother while dealing with a couple of shaky calls in the process.

Lamelo outscored Lonzo, but with stipulation. He shot 5-of-15 from the field and 3-of-8 from three. Plenty of Lamelo’s buckets came from Coby White guarding him. Lonzo was given the responsibility of slowing down Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre, who were hotter than Lamelo in the second half.

Nikola Vucevic

As for the rest of the game, it was all up for Nikola Vucevic, who scored 30 points in a season-high offensive performance.

The Hornets were without Mason Plumlee and gave Nick Richards just seven minutes on the floor — leaving plenty of opportunities for Vucevic to take advantage in the paint.

Vooch shot 12-of-19 from the field and drained all six threes he took. He also added 14 rebounds to his night and five assists.

Ball Movement

The biggest headline on the night came from the Bulls’ ball movement. The team recorded a season-high 35 assists on the night. The team is a below-average squad moving the ball, averaging the 17th most assists per game with 22.8 assists.

Ball led the team with eight, followed by Caruso with seven off the bench (also added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting), and DeRozan with six.

Outside of the Bulls nearly blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, giving the Hornets a 19-4 run at one point, they dominated the game.

The team scored a season-high 131 points and shot 59.6 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three. Their free throw shooting uncharacteristically faded, as the team shot 68.4 percent from the line.

The Bulls move to third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 14-8 record, trailing the Wizards and the Nets.

They will head to New York on Thursday to take on the Knicks for their third meeting of the season. The Bulls are 1-1 against the Knicks this season. The Knicks just announced they plan to keep Kemba Walker out of the rotation.

Ball will now most likely guard Alec Burks instead of Kemba on Thursday. If he performs as well as he did against his brother on Monday night, the Bulls should pick up their 15th win on the season.

Ryan Taylor
Ryan is pursuing an undergraduate in journalism and a graduate degree in digital communication from DePaul University. He has been with Sports Mockery since 2021. He primarily covers the Chicago Bulls.

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