Southeast Notes: Ball, Capela, Pierce, Magic

LaMelo Ball has made several highlight passes during his first NBA season, but turnovers are cutting into his playing time, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The Hornets guard has seen his minutes scaled back in the last two games, and coach James Borrego says ball security is the reason.

“If you’re turning the ball over five times in 16 minutes, that ain’t gonna cut it for me,” Borrego said of Ball’s performance in Friday’s loss to the Bulls. “If you’re doing that on the offensive end, you better be bringing something defensively.”

The third player picked in last year’s draft, Ball has experienced an uneven start to his NBA career. He became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double, but he’s shooting just 40.4% from the floor though his first 15 games. Despite the frustrations, his coach plans to be patient.

“He had a stretch where he played extremely well. We need to find that again,” Borrego said. “He’s got to get better, bottom line. He’s engaged, he wants to get better. He’s capable of handling it.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Clint Capela has transformed the Hawks‘ defense, notes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. An injury prevented Capela from playing after he was acquired at last year’s trade deadline, but his presence in the middle has helped Atlanta improve from 27th to eighth in the league in defensive efficiency. He posted his first triple-double Friday night, which included 10 blocked shots. “I just feel like last year was not really defense,” Capela said. “It was just going and scoring. I just feel now that you have a guy under the rim to challenge every shot or change shots from the opposite team, it just changes everything. It makes a difference.”
  • The condensed schedule is limiting practice time for all NBA teams and it’s especially difficult for the Hawks, who have nine new players on their roster, observes Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta hasn’t practiced since January 13, and that happened only because a game against the Suns was postponed. “We’re all adjusting,” coach Lloyd Pierce said. “I’ve never done this in the NBA, fly to a city and go straight to the gym, and so it does give us some getting used to the arena floor because we won’t have a shootaround (the next day), so it is a different norm and we use it as our way to break the ice a little bit, get some rhythm, and then we have a ton of rest heading into tomorrow’s game.”
  • Salary cap concerns will provide incentive for the Magic to trade Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon before this year’s deadline, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
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27 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Ball, Capela, Pierce, Magic

  1. realistnotsucker

    OMG a 19 year old rookie shooting poorly, not the first or last time this will happen, some reporters act like it’s impossible for these kids to improve

    • Lakers1

      I think it’s a product of him working to get better.. unlike his dad who thinks he should be handed everything, this coach wants him to earn it.. his defense is bad and if he’s gonna turn the ball over, not shoot well and not bring it defensively then he shouldn’t get starter minutes

      • x%sure

        His defense is good. But turnovers may cause his minus14 on/off and fewer minutes.

  2. Sillivan

    FG 40%
    3pt 32%
    TO 2.3

    FG 35%
    3pt 27%
    TO 1.9

    Wiggins rookie season

    Ball is better than Edwards

    • Lakers1

      9 of last 10 under 50% shooting and 6 of last 10 33% or less.. not exactly out of this world shooting and averaging 5.9 assists to 2.3 turnovers. 25 mins per game and bad defense.. needs to earn it

  3. Marty McRae

    If you half Fournier’s salary, he will fit under GSW’s IPE for Klay Thompson!

  4. Sillivan

    Wolves want Gordon offseason

    Trade Assumption for now
    Magic get Edwards and Ed Davis
    Magic get Gordon and a future First

    Wolves would pay 3 consecutive year luxury tax

    The problems of New York and Houston
    The cities are scary large and the vision is scary small
    How about Wolves?

    • Walladipo and Wood

      Comparing the Knicks to the Rockets? Absurd. Gimme a break.

      Houston is the only team in the NBA that has made the playoffs in each of the last 8 seasons. NY has been an absolute joke since losing to the Rockets and then the Spurs in the Finals more than two decades ago.

  5. El Don

    C’mon Borrego give LaMelo a break, of course he will go up & down but the guy has had an absolutely historically off the charts start of the season, at a level for a rookie not seen in sooo many years… & he plays off the bench!
    LaMelo will be a legend very very soon, mark my words!

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Dude Ja says leave that Play Station alone.
      Zion just text me lol.

      • El Don

        You guys know nothing about hoops, & definitely never back your crazy rants with facts, which you hate as they prove you wrong, right?
        LaMelo is the youngest ever player to do a treble-double.
        Only the 3rd ever rookie to get 42 points, 36 rebounds & 27 assists in a 3 game period in the last 35 years, Odom in ’00 & Simmons in ’17 the other 2.
        Despite his awful start he is only the 3rd rookie in the last 35 years to get 131/63/59 in his first 10 games in the NBA after LBJ in ’03 & Simmons.
        He might end up leading his team in rebounds & assists, which would make him the 3rd rookie in the last 40 years to do so, after Jordan & Blake Griffin.
        After 12 games was leading all the rookies in the league in defensive stops with 22.
        He can potentially lead all the rookies in points, rebounds & assists per game, which would make him the 7th ever rookie to do so after Baylor ’59, Chamberlain ’60, Robertson ’61, Bellamy ’62, Adams ’76 & MCW ’14… BTW all of them were of course ROY…
        Now if this isn’t a historically of the charts start for a rookie, from the bench even, well I don’t know then.
        But y’all can keep hating, but facts are always truth, that is why y’all hate facts, right?

        • Otogar

          No ROY in the 21st century had a worst field goal percentage than 40.4%. Only one (Brogdon) averaged less than 11.4 points… These are also facts, right?

        • Curtisrowe

          Morant and Luka are a million times better than Ball.

          That’s a fact.

          • El Don

            No one doubts Luka is, as a matter of fact he is the best player in the league, as simple as!
            Now Morant had a decent rookie year, nothin’ special, really not that much better than LaMelo now, but you keep on creating your facts.
            You didn’t brought up any numbers, or research to proof your point, as usual, so have a nice life!
            I will stick with the facts, not y’all opinions, right?

            • Otogar

              Ok, let me see, so according to you: 1) Morant had just a decent rookie year, nothin’ special, 2) Morant’s year was somewhat better (though really not that much) than LaMelo now, however 3) Lamelo is playing at a level not seen in a rookie in sooo many years. Perhaps you should check your logic.

    • Curtisrowe

      You think Lamealo has had an “absolutely historical start of the season, at a level for a rookie not seen in sooo many years”

      You’re so right man, I mean there was this guy named Ja Morant who had a good rookie year, WAAAAY better than what Lamelo is doing, but that was back in the 90s.

      Then there was a guy named Luka Doncic, but I think he played in the 80s

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Was always going to take Ball time to adjust to NBA. He’s doing better than I thought he would. Patience patience patience just ride it thru. I’ve never seen him as a PG. I still don’t . Just needs to fill out his body. Won’t have his real body till 22-24. To me he’s best as a wing. Keep working keep working he seems like he wants it. Coach him and keep working

  7. BloodFarts

    Ball has all the make up to be an elite player. It will happen on its own.

  8. Stilt Armstrong

    “If you’re turning the ball over 5 times in 16 minutes, thats not gonna cut it for me”

    Well said Borrego. Turnovers is the true “Rookie Wall” Not as many teams draft players, and let them turn the ball over 20 times a game, like there used to be. Even Doncic had a learning curve, but Ball if even half as good as Doncic is right now, is a valuable NBA talent. If he’s willing to work, and learn. Lillard, Irving, were pretty atrocious with turnovers early in their careers. Westbrick is still pretty bad.

  9. formerlyz

    Improved defense from capable defenders have transformed Atlanta’s defense, as well as the addition of Solomon Hill, and when Kris Dunn comes back, that will be more helpful as well. DeAndre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish are all length, versatile, and generally capable. They’ve even helped John Collins not look nearly as bad as he has been previously. Brandon Goodwin is also a capable defender off the bench…Capela is definitely a significant part of it as a pick and roll defender, and Okongwu should also provide similar things in that regard, but it wouldnt matter if their defense didnt also improve around him

    These narratives man lol. Just learn the players…

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