East Notes: Hornets, LaMelo Ball, Heat, Jimmy Butler, Pacers


Point guard LaMelo Ball has yet to return to practice, but at least he’s out of his walking boot, per Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer.LaMelo Ball

That’s promising news after Ball suffered a severely sprained right ankle. He is expected to have it reevaluated later this week. He still has a “noticeable limp,” Boone added.

  • While the Hornets sit at 6-12, it’s still too early to count them out of a playoff spot or run at the play-in tournament, wrote Schuyler Callihan of SI.com.


The Heat (11-9) have looked much like they did last regular season, which is pretty average. But we all saw what the Heat are capable of once the playoffs arrive.

Still, Jimmy Butler seems to think they can stand to improve and be a little more consistent.

“We stand right where we don’t want to be, which is very mediocre, not good, not bad, not great, not any of those things,” Butler told reporters. “Just mediocre. You talk about our offense has been mediocre. You talk about our defense has been mediocre. That’s the word I would use.”


The Pacers became the first team to advance in the In-Season Tournament behind the strong play of point guard Tyrese Haliburton, as we relayed here.

It also marked Indiana’s first game on national television this season.

“You don’t play on national TV if you don’t win games,” Haliburton said, via David Aldridge of The Athletic. “The more we come out here and prove that, on a night-to-night basis, that we can win games, it’s gonna change. And that’s all that we’re about right now; changing how this organization is viewed and how we are as players viewed, and just coming out here and competing every night.”

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