Southwest Notes: Irving, Doncic, Williamson, Pelicans Injuries, Morant

The Mavericks are 0-2 thus far with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving playing together but the former Net believes their partnership will be very fruitful, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News.

I can say this about Luka — he scored the ball extremely well. He gets everybody involved very easily, and he plays at his own pace, as we’ve said it over the last few years,” Irving said. “But his IQ is something that I’m really looking forward to learning more about, and just picking his brain. He’s 23 years old. He’s seen a lot, but he still has more room to grow and more room to improve. He’s as great as he is now, but just imagine what he’s going to look like in three years, playing with some high-level guys.”

Irving said Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison wanted him for, among other things, his leadership, Caplan tweets.

“I know they wanted me for my work ethic, for my leadership abilities and also my consistency in what I bring to the team,” he said.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • All-Star Weekend hasn’t featured a lot of big names for its dunk contest in recent years but that could change next season. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson said if he ever decides to enter, it will happen next season, he told Riley Jones of ’I’ll think about it. I’ll put heavy consideration into doing the dunk contest,” he said. “I feel like if I am going to do it, I’d probably do it next year.”
  • The Pelicans overhauled their training staff in 2019, yet it hasn’t translated into better health for their players, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune notes. Pelicans players – including stars Williamson and Brandon Ingram – have missed 195 games because of injury this season, the third-highest mark in the NBA. VP of basketball operations David Griffin doesn’t blame the medical staff for the rash of injuries. “I think our medical staff has done a really, really good job,” Griffin said. “Unfortunately, they got caught up in people counting games missed due to injury. When somebody does something to a ligament or to a bone, that’s sort of out of their control.”
  • Ja Morant says “I’m ready” for the challenge the Suns will present with Kevin Durant in their lineup, he told NBA TV’s Dennis Scott (hat tip to Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.) Morant also says he’s unconcerned about the Grizzlies quickly becoming the league’s most hated team, though he personally looks to avoid more controversy. “I don’t care no more. I’m protecting my energy. I’m not replying to no more nonsense,” he said. “I’m not trying to get no more techs this year. Not trying to get in no more altercations, none of that.”
View Comments (5)