Southwest Notes: Zion, Mavericks, Forbes, DeRozan, Pop

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is among the top stars to watch in the NBA’s Orlando season restart, according to Scott Kushner of NOLA.com. Kushner notes that the league’s unique eight-game seeding play-in approach was clearly designed to imbue value to the Pelicans’ eight contests, and to allow a debut Williamson playoff appearance to be possible.

This play-in option, which equips the teams in the West seeded ninth to 13th with a theoretical chance of making the playoffs in a knockout two-game wildcard bout with that No. 8 seed, would benefit a team like the eleventh-seeded Pelicans, who fall to a 28-37 record after their loss to the Jazz tonight.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks director of player personnel Tony Ronzone has been accused of sexual assault by another Mavericks employee, according to Jessica Luther and Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated. After the Sports Illustrated investigation was published, the Mavericks issued a response, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. The Mavericks called the article a “one-sided, incomplete and sensational form of journalism, with its inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and omissions.”
  • Spurs starting shooting guard Bryn Forbes will miss the team’s first seeding game in the league’s Disney World restart as he battles a sore right quad, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).
  • Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News wonders if, thanks in part to the Spurs‘ inclusion in the Orlando restart, star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and longtime head coach Gregg Popovich might remain with the team beyond this season. DeRozan, 30, can opt out of the 2020/21 season, the last season in the five-year, $139MM contract he signed with the team that drafted him, the Raptors, in 2016. Popovich, 71, has coached the Spurs since 1996. The team has made six Finals appearances during his tenure, winning five.
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10 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Zion, Mavericks, Forbes, DeRozan, Pop

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    A writer in New Orleans thinks that Zion is one of the top stars to watch in Orlando? Stop the presses. The Pels were outscored by 16 during his 15 minutes of play, and he didn’t manage a single rebound when he was on the court. Hopefully he plays a lot better against the Clippers on Saturday.

  2. x%sure

    Don’t blame ZW, it’s the fault of selfish fans and elite opinions in NYC that the 2020 playoffs got distorted beyond what covid19 required, just to get ZW on TV before he was even ready.

  3. The pelicans cost themselves a important
    game when they did not play Zion in the fourth quarter. Their coach limited Zion mintues to 15 minutes. Hope there is more of a reason for sitting him out when the game was on the line.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      Zero rebounds and the team was outscored significantly during his time on the court. If anything, playing him did more to cost them the game than not playing him did.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    It’s only first gm relax. But I do agree they all should be in shape. Maybe not NBA shape. But physically in shape. This is their life. I’ve been saying this since the draft. NO better get Zion a nutritionist cook. Keep his weight under 260 lbs. He is not going to last like this. He’s a great talent. His gm is not built for that body. Needs to get his weight under control. Then learn to pick his spots. He won’t last ten yrs like this. He’s a rookie and we are limiting his mins. He’s been resting for months. And we are worried about his mins. I hope he gets it. Life is too short.

  5. Otogar

    I wonder what motivation could have Pop to continue next year. The Spurs are years away from being meaningful again, and he has already done it all in the NBA. It’s a pity (for Pop) what happened with Kawhi, because with him the Spurs would have probably remained a top team all these years.

  6. El Don

    Zion was good, he actually played very well for the 15 minutes he was on the court, if they are not gonna play him at the end of the game it ain’t a point for them to be in the bubble ’cause they ain’t challenging for the playoffs without his game, he has to win the games for them, but he can’t from the bench, right?

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