Western Notes: Hyland, Mitchell, Schröder, McCollum, Lue

Nuggets rookie Bones Hyland will replace Kings rookie Davion Mitchell in the 2022 Rising Stars game Friday night in Cleveland, the NBA announced in a press release. Mitchell is currently suffering from a right hand injury.

Hyland, 21, was the No. 26 overall pick by Denver after two collegiate seasons with VCU. Through 46 games this season (18 MPG), he’s averaging 8.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.0 APG on .369/.346/.881 shooting.

Mitchell, 23, was the No. 9 overall pick by Sacramento after three collegiate seasons, the latter two with Baylor. He won a national championship with the Bears last season. Through 53 games this season (26 MPG), Mitchell is averaging 10.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .406/.326/.558 shooting.

Mitchell was also going to be part of the Clorox Clutch Challenge, a shooting competition where he was to team up with Scottie Barnes. The event will take place between the second and third Rising Stars games. A replacement will be announced soon, the league says.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Dennis Schröder has already shown how he can help the Rockets after just two games with his new club, writes Rahat Huq of The Houston Chronicle. Schröder started in place of the sick Kevin Porter Jr. Wednesday night and put up 23 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in 38 minutes in Houston’s 124-121 loss to Phoenix. Huq believes that Schröder’s addition will be beneficial for rookies Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun, who had nice games of their own with the German point guard running the show. However, he’s concerned that Schröder might hurt the development of Josh Christopher, who has been a regular member of the team’s rotation over the past few months and played just nine and 11 minutes the past two games. Huq also thinks if Schröder plays too much he could help add a few wins, which would be detrimental to the team’s lottery odds.
  • CJ McCollum has been showcasing his stellar ability to create shots in his brief time with the Pelicans, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “It’s a process, man,” McCollum said. “I’m getting there. I like this type of challenge. It challenges you mentally. It challenges you physically. You have to study the game more and puts you in an uncomfortable environment. I’ve been in a comfortable environment my entire career. This is a great change for me and a great challenge.”
  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue says that missing stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for much of the season has made him a better coach, per Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group. “It has definitely made me a better coach this year, just trying to scratch and claw and win a game every single night,” Lue said. “Usually, you are in the playoffs and you try to win one game (at a time). It’s like that every single night.” The resilient Clippers are currently 29-31, eighth in the West.
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