Western Notes: Murray, Pelicans, Snyder, Walker

Spurs guard Dejounte Murray deserves credit for the team’s impressive road win over Milwaukee on Saturday, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Murray finished with 23 points, five rebounds and nine assists in 37 minutes, also registering three steals.

“He was great,” head coach Gregg Popovich said of Murray. “His defense is not going to be noticed as much as offense, but he got us in situations where people were getting the ball and scoring. He scored. He disrupts at the defensive end. He played a heck of an all-around game.”

Murray, 25, was drafted by the team No. 29 overall in 2016. He’s averaged an impressive 17.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists through the club’s first six games, shooting 43% from the floor.

There’s more around the Western Conference tonight:

  • The Pelicans are facing a familiar start to the season, Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes. Zion Williamson has yet to play due to injury, leading New Orleans to start the season with a 1-6 record. On top of that, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is dealing with some shooting struggles, making 15 of 57 three-pointers thus far. “Everyone just tells me to keep shooting,” Alexander-Walker said on Thursday. “They trust me to take those shots. Last night [against Atlanta], Zion told me those are shots I need to take. It takes pressure off (Brandon Ingram). It’s comforting to hear they want me to keep shooting even though I haven’t been making shots. To know they have faith in me.”
  • Jazz coach Quin Snyder believes the NBA’s focus on changing its foul rules has unintentionally allowed defenders to be more physical, according to Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links). The league has made it harder for offensive players to initiate fouls on shots and drives this season. “I don’t think there’s supposed to be increased physicality,” Snyder said. “I don’t think that’s the kind of game we want.”
  • Spurs guard Lonnie Walker has learned from what he calls “The University of Pop,” Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Referencing Gregg Popovich, Walker acknowledged he missed the final three years of college and discussed what he’s learned from the Spurs’ head coach so far.
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