Western Notes: Giddey, Westbrook, Williamson, Jones

Thunder rookie Josh Giddey will miss at least two more weeks due to hip soreness, head coach Mark Daigneault said, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Giddey has missed the team’s last four games, but Daigneault still hopes the 19-year-old can return at some point this season.

“We’re trying to balance development but also being cautious and being wise… We’re learn a lot more in a couple weeks here,” he said, as relayed by Clemente Almanza of OKC Thunder Wire (Twitter link). “See how he responds with the treatment he’s getting now.”

In 54 games this season, Giddey has averaged 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists, shooting 41.9% from the floor and 26.3% from deep. Oklahoma City is 20-43 and will likely give more playing time to Tre Mann, Theo Maledon and others in his absence.

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference:

  • In his latest article for Substack, Marc Stein cites one league source who believes it’s “impossible” that the Lakers bring back Russell Westbrook next season due to current tension levels. Los Angeles ranks ninth in the Western Conference (27-35) and has lost eight of its last 10 games. Westbrook has averaged 18.1 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the floor, which is slightly below his career average.
  • Pelicans star Zion Williamson will rejoin the team when it returns from its road trip next week, Andrew Lopez of ESPN tweets. New Orleans will play Denver on Sunday and Memphis on Tuesday. Williamson is progressing to full-weight bearing activities and his future timetable remains unclear.
  • Despite being a rookie, Pelicans forward Herbert Jones already appears to be one of the NBA’s best defenders, Christian Clark of NOLA.com opines. Jones’ defense was a major reason why Jazz star Donovan Mitchell scored just 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting on Friday, with the Pelicans winning by 34. “Herb, you just expect it from him almost,” head coach Willie Green said. “That’s what he does. He doesn’t say much. He just goes out and does his work. What he’s doing, we don’t take for granted. It’s hard to guard the best player every single night.”
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