Tagged in: New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson out for Thursday’s game; still on for NBA All-Star Game

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson missed Thursday night’s contest versus the Miami Heat because of irritation in his right fifth toe, but sources told ESPN that he is still anticipated to play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy stated the toe irritation is something Williamson has been trying to play through recently.

“It’s one of those things that’s just continued to get a little bit worse,” Van Gundy said. “Obviously, a lot of minutes last night and the whole thing. So it got worse. But it’s been something that he’s had.”

Williamson will be a part of Team Durant in the All-Star Game. Williamson played 38 minutes in Wednesday night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. Though he ended with 28 points, he was upset that he shot just 8-of-16 from the free throw line. After the match, he spent roughly 40 minutes getting up extra shots on the Smoothie King Center floor.

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Thursday night marked the second game Williamson misses this season but only the first for an injury-related issue.

He missed a game on Jan. 13 in Los Angeles versus the Clippers because of an inconclusive COVID-19 test.

Williamson was voted in as a Western Conference All-Star by coaches after posting some of the best interior scoring numbers the league has seen since Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal. The 20-year-old forward is the fourth-youngest All-Star in NBA history behind LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.

J.J. Redick was also ruled out for the contest due to right heel soreness. After a slow start to the season, the veteran sharpshooter caught fire in February, connecting on 47.6% of his 3-point attempts over a 12-game span.

The Pelicans entered Thursday night in 11th place in the Western Conference standings, three games behind Memphis for the 10th and final play-in tournament spot.

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New Orleans Pelicans sign Will Magnay to two-way contract

The New Orleans Pelicans are adding Will Magnay from the National Basketball League (NBL) in Australia to a two-way contract, according to ESPN’s Olgun Uluc.

The 22-year-old center posted a line of 8.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in an average of 21.8 minutes per match (27 total games) for the Brisbane Bullets. For those efforts, he was awarded the NBL20 Most Improved Player Award.

The numbers do not necessarily jump off the page alone; however, realize those statistics represent substantial improvement from Magnay’s 2018-19 campaign, where he was largely invisible in an average of 4.3 minutes a game. Not a known commodity to the average fan in the United States.

Magnay has sat on the radar of multiple NBA teams for some time.

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There were rumors last February that the Golden State Warriors were going to sign Magnay to a 10-day contract, but the deal never came to fruition. Then another false report was published prior to the restart inside the Orlando bubble that Magnay was likely to join the Dallas Mavericks.

Why are NBA teams so enamored with Magnay? Because the athleticism and talents stand out on his 6’10 frame. While he made only 6 of 32 three-point shots in the NBL, the jumper exhibits a good amount of rhythm and solid enough form.

It’s not difficult to understand what the Pelicans may see in Magnay. In a perfect world, his development continues to noticeably grow under their tutelage, where someday he’ll be able to carve out a meaningful role alongside Zion Williamson, offering stellar shot-blocking and some floor-spreading shooting ability.

If allowed to dream for a moment, can anyone else see a solid screener who will run aggressively to the rim and finish strongly as well as offer pick-and-pop potential out to the three-point line? I think I can, but now for a healthy dose of reality: it took Magnay several years in the NBL to finally make a mark.

This, after leaving the US following his freshman year at Tulsa to turn pro in Australia.

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Williamson’s pushes Pelicans past Blazers

Zion Williamson scored a season-high 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans used a dominant second half to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 138–117 Tuesday night.

”I expect to make an impact but I don’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson said in his usual, grinning, affable manner. ”I just kind of look to come in, just kind of fit in, just not try to mess up, but my teammates and coaches are always pushing me.”

‘I do hold myself to high expectations, but I think it’s just finding the line between reality and dreams,” Williamson added. ”If my teammates find me, they find me. If not, just got to make another play, get the rebound and just play defense.”

Playing 28 minutes in just his ninth NBA game, Williamson used his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame, quick feet and explosive vertical to have his way with every defender Portland tried against him.

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Williamson was either too strong, too fast, or both. He mixed spinning dribbles and sudden baseline drives into his usual arsenal of soaring transition dunks and tenacious putbacks. Six of his nine rebounds came on the offensive end.

”I don’t really think he’s comparable to anyone that I have seen,” Portland forward Carmelo Anthony said of Williamson. ”Someone who is as powerful as that, who jumps like that … you can tell he’s getting better and getting a feel for the game.”

JJ Redick scored 20 points for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 16 in the first quarter before taking command en route to a third consecutive triumph. Portland star Damian Lillard scored 20 points — less than half of his 42-point average over his previous 10 matches. 

Brandon Ingram was ruled for the game due to a sprained ankle.

The victory against Portland brings the Pelicans to 25–30, only three matches behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jazz take 5 game win streak to New Orleans

The Utah Jazz are among the best defensive teams in the NBA.

But they have shown they can lean on their offense when they need to as they prepare to visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

When they hosted the Pelicans on Nov. 23, two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert was sidelined by a sprained ankle, so the Jazz scored a season-high in points in a 128-120 victory.

Donovan Mitchell had a season-high 37 in that game, and he had 32 in a 109-96 win versus Orlando on Saturday. After making eight 3-pointers through the first three quarters, they made the same number in the fourth quarter.

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“I told the team,” coach Quin Snyder said, “if the defense is solid, you give yourself a chance and eventually guys will get going.”

The guy most responsible for getting the offense going is point guard Mike Conley, but he has been sidelined by a hamstring injury. In his absence, Joe Ingles has been filling that role, helping the Jazz win five in a row and 10 of their past 11 matches.

“I think I’d rather have assists than points to be honest with you,” Ingles said. “I couldn’t care less about scoring. I feel like my role on the team is to get other guys involved.

“My only focus going in is defensively who I’m matched up on and trying to get all these guys easy shots. The more I can do to get them easy looks or easy shots, that’s what I’m out there to do.”

The Pelicans have won five of their last six matches after splitting a set of back-to-back games in California.

They lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 123-113 on Friday before getting a last-second 117-115 triumph against the Sacramento Kings the following night.

Rookie Zion Williamson participated in his first full practice before the Pelicans left for their brief road trip, though New Orleans has not set a date for his return from arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 21.

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New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings

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The New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings do battle tonight at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Pelicans have lost six of their last seven games and are currently on a four-game losing streak after losing to the Lakers by 95-91 last night. Tyreke Evans led the scoring with 21 points, Ryan Anderson had 15 points while Eric Gordon added 14 as the Pelicans lost their second straight game in the absence of Anthony Davis who sat out with discomfort in his back. Davis remains without a timetable for his return so his status for tonight is currently listed as questionable. New Orleans is now 11-26 on the season and 4-17 on the road.

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The Kings have won three of their last five games but are coming off a 128-116 loss to the Warriors. DeMarcus Cousins led the team with 33 points, Rudy Gay added 23 points while Darren Collison had 16 off the bench, but it still wasn’t enough for the Kings as the Warriors had Stephen Curry who poured in eight 3-pointers to scorch them for 38 points. Overall, it was still somewhat of a moral victory for the Kings as they matched it with the Warriors for a majority of the game, but they were never good enough defensively as the Warriors finished with 56 percent shooting from the field. With the loss, Sacramento drops to 15-22 on the season and 10-10 at home.

Pelicans probable starters

PG Tyreke Evans 6-6, 220 (16.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals SG Eric Gordon 6-4, 215 (15.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.9 spg) SF Dante Cunningham 6-8, 230 (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg) PF Anthony Davis 6-10, 253 (22.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.5 bpg) C Omer Asik 7-0, 255 (3.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 bpg).

Kings probable starters

PG  Rajon Rondo 6-1, 186 (11.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, 11.6 assists, 1.9 steals SG Ben McLemore 6-5, 195 (7.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 spg) SF Rudy Gay  6-8, 230 (18.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg) PF Quincy Acy  6-7, 240 (4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 bpg) C DeMarcus Cousins 6-11, 270 (25.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 bpg).

Injury report

Pelicans: Forward Quincy Pondexter (knee) out for rest of season. Forward Anthony Davis (back contusion) questionable. Kings: Forward Omri Casspi (back soreness) doubtful. Guard James Anderson (hamstring strain) questionable. Forward Duje Dukan (tibia bone contusion) out.

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Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans

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The Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans square off Friday night at the Smoothie King Center.

The Washington Wizards are desperate for a victory after losing seven of their last 10 games. The Washington Wizards are averaging 101 points on 44.2 percent shooting and allowing 105 points on 46.3 percent shooting. Bradley Beal is averaging 19.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while John Wall is averaging 19.6 points and 8.3 assists. Otto Porter Jr. is grabbing 5.6 rebounds and Ramon Sessions is dishing 2.2 assists. The Washington Wizards are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 75.7 percent from the free throw line. The Wizards are allowing 49.8 percent shooting in their last five games and have allowed 100-plus points in each game. The Washington Wizards have split their last 10 regular season road games. Drew Gooden is out and Kris Humphries is questionable.

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The New Orleans Pelicans need a big victory after losing five of their last six games. The New Orleans Pelicans are averaging 101.8 points on 44 percent shooting and allowing 109.1 points on 46.4 percent shooting. Anthony Davis is averaging 23.8 points and 10.7 rebounds while Ryan Anderson is averaging 18 points and seven rebounds. Eric Gordon is dishing 2.9 assists and Tyreke Evans is grabbing five rebounds. The New Orleans Pelicans are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 78.6 percent from the free throw line. The Pelicans are as healthy as they’ve been all season and need to get on a roll now if this season is going to work. The New Orleans Pelicans have split their last eight home games. Kendrick Perkins is questionable.

The Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest and 11-26-1 ATS in their last 38 games following a ATS loss. The Pelicans are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Wizards are 8-0 ATS in the last 8 meetings in New Orleans and 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings overall.

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