Western Rumors: Paul, Ball, Nurkic, Noel

Chris Paul is ramping up his workouts and could return to action on Thursday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. The longtime All-Star point guard has been out since suffering a bruised left knee in the Rockets’ opener. “We’ll see how he feels Tuesday and Wednesday,” coach Mike D’Antoni told Feigen. “That [playing Thursday] is what we’re shooting for.”

In other developments around the Western Conference:

  • Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball is shooting 31.4% but team president Magic Johnson said during a radio interview the coaching staff won’t alter his shooting stroke. Johnson made the comment during an interview on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show, which was relayed by USAToday’s Andrew Joseph. “Let him shoot the way he’s been shooting and hopefully they’ll go in. And so, we’re not gonna mess with it,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna let him shoot and play his game. If after the season, and he’s not shooting well, then we’ll sit down with him and say, ‘Hey, let’s maybe look at different way or let’s try to improve the way you are shooting.'”
  • Jusuf Nurkic isn’t brooding over his lack of crunch-time minutes in recent games, Mike Richman of The Oregonian reports. Coach Terry Stotts has gone with the backup Ed Davis in the fourth quarter the last two games but the starting Trail Blazers center says he’s not upset. “No drama, man,”  Nurkic told Richman. “It’s all about the [next] game.”
  • Nerlens Noel‘s lack of playing time doesn’t mean there’s a rift between him and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Noel has played just eight minutes over the last three games but he can work his way back in the rotation by playing hard-nosed basketball, Sefko continues. Noel will get a chance to rejoin the rotation in the near future, Sefko predicts.
  • Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler scored 25 points against the Suns on Saturday, and he vows to remain a bigger part of the offense, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Butler had scored 16 points or less in seven of his 10 previous games with his new team.  “I do think I have to start scoring the ball a lot more,” Butler told Zgoda. “I think I’ve come too far to be as passive as I am right now. I’m always going to pass the ball to the open man, but if I feel like I can get my shots off and think I can make it, I’m going to take each and every one of those.”
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7 thoughts on “Western Rumors: Paul, Ball, Nurkic, Noel

  1. Gary

    I’ve been saying for 5 months that the Lakers need to change that shooting stroke.

    There’s no way throwing the ball and using that much arm motion is going to be successful.

    The ball needs to be in front of your face, index finger directing, and a flip of the wrist. See Klay Thompson Chris Mullin Etc.

    Yes there’s been arm Slingers and funky shooters but those are generally forwards and guys at least 6-7, 6-8.

    Even Magic became a good shooter from outside because his elbow was straight and his index finger guided the shot as a vertical motion from the front of him “into the cookie jar on the top shelf” as they say.

    There’s no way Ball will be a successful shooter no matter how much time he works on that arm throwing motion.

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  2. Gary

    The Chris Paul to Houston experiment has been a major flop. Have you seen how awesome the Rockets are with Paul out and Harden at the controls? They are a very very good team and harden is incredible.

    If they take the ball out of harden’s hands and give it to Chris Paul, I think that makes the Rockets worse.

    So the solution is to have Chris Paul standing in the corner as a spot-up shooter? It’s just a big mess all around.

    I guess we see how much, how bad Chris Paul wanted to leave the Clippers LOL. Enough to go to a mismatched situation in Houston.

    It’ll be interesting to see which team Paul goes to next summer cuz he’s definitely not staying in Houston. He may even get traded at the deadline.

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    • MYAMI

      I’ll never understand why most basketball fans have the memory of a goldfish. Is it an American thing? Anyway you do realise THIS YEAR harden took a team he lead to the playoffs and by the time it was the 2nd round he was completely burned out. Now with Paul sharing the duties of ball handling with him he’s going to save energy and rockets are harden to defend because you have to scout another style of play… stop the stupid comments Gary the goldfish

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      • Gary

        I’m saying if Paul is a major part of the rotation at the end of the season, the Rockets are going nowhere… maybe the second round and out.

        What are you saying? Tell me how far the Rockets are going this year.

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        • MYAMI

          You said the ball should be in hardens hands the whole time. That happened last year and harden had nothing by the 2nd round.
          I’m saying that with Paul hardens not going to be burned out and they have a far higher chance to go far.

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        • MYAMI

          I think they’ll make the wcf and once your there anything can happen.

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          • Gary

            Yours is a fair assessment, I just disagree. We’ll see how it works out. I just think the Rockets are awesome with Harden running the show. Paul and the way he plays just puts a wrench in the whole thing.

            How about managing Harden’s minutes like a good coach would? Perhaps that would help come playoff time.

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