How LaMelo Ball's injury will impact the Boston Celtics

How LaMelo Ball's injury will impact the Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Charlotte Hornets got some bad news on Sunday night. They are expected to be without LaMelo Ball for the rest of the season.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rookie of the Year favorite suffered a fractured wrist in the area of his right thumb. The injury occurred against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

This is terrible news and is a huge blow to both the Hornets and the NBA.

Ball was playing great basketball and was averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. The Hornets have good point guard depth in Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier, but they aren't quite the sparkplug playmakers that Ball has proven to be in his first year in Charlotte.

So, what does this have to do with the Boston Celtics? A lot, actually.

The Celtics and the Hornets are currently neck-and-neck in the Eastern Conference standings. After beating the Orlando Magic on Sunday, the C's are sitting at 21-21. The Hornets are a half-game back at 20-21.

Ball's absence could loom large in deciding which team is able to climb the standings. Ball has played in all 41 Hornets games so far this season, but when he has played 25 or fewer minutes, the Hornets have a 2-8 record. When he plays more than 25 minutes, the Hornets are 18-13.

Ball don't lie

Winning percentage when Ball plays < 25 minutes

20.0

Winning percentage when Ball plays > 25 minutes

58.0

Variation

Double

Meanwhile, the Celtics have had their share of injury issues, but with Marcus Smart (calf) back, they are mostly healthy. Currently, they just have Tristan Thompson and Romeo Langford sidelined because of the NBA's health and safety protocols.

On another note, the Celtics have yet to play the Hornets this year and actually have three games remaining against them. With Ball unavailable to play in those contests, that will give Boston an easier path to victory.

That's not to say those wins are guaranteed, but the Hornets won't be as tough a test without Ball on the court. And since both Rozier and Gordon Hayward used to be members of the C's, the Boston coaching staff may have a good idea about how to shut them down as they look to beat Charlotte.

We'll see how the Hornets respond without Ball in the coming days. But if they're still figuring things out without Ball when they take on the Celtics on April 4, it should be advantage, Boston.

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/lamelo-balls-injury-impact-boston-013630340.html?src=rss

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