Western Notes: Doncic, Zion, Nuggets, Blazers

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who has missed three games since spraining his left knee and ankle last week, appeared to be on the verge of a return to the court as he went through practice on Monday. However, as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News writes, the team hasn’t provided an update since Doncic shouted in pain and came off the court holding his knee near the end of Monday’s practice.

Doncic may have just suffered a brief scare that won’t affect his ability to return to action as soon as tonight — he’s still listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. the Clippers. However, it’s also possible that the Mavericks will decide to hold him out for another game or two after he seemingly aggravated his injury on Monday.

As we wait for an update on Doncic, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Within a larger article about Zion Williamson‘s foot injury, Brian Windhorst and Andrew Lopez of ESPN say that the Pelicans kept news of Williamson’s offseason surgery quiet until Media Day out of respect to the young forward’s “preference for privacy.”
  • In a column for The Denver Post, Sean Keeler criticizes the Nuggets for their decision to sign Michael Porter Jr. to a rookie scale extension in the offseason, arguing that it was an unnecessary move for a team that can’t afford to swing big and miss. If the Nuggets hadn’t extended Porter, who is out indefinitely with a back injury, he would’ve been on track to reach restricted free agency in 2022.
  • The Trail Blazers, who are riding a three-game winning streak, are showing signs of evolving from a collection of players into a team, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Quick points to a few moments that have shown that evolution, including Larry Nance Jr. making sure rookie Trendon Watford got the game ball when he scored his first NBA points in a blowout loss to Denver.
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