Western Notes: Williamson, Powell, Holmgren

Zion Williamson has spent more time at the Pelicans’ practice facility than in previous seasons, hoping to avoid the injuries that have plagued his NBA career, Andrew Lopez of ESPN said on Zach Lowe’s podcast (video link).

Williamson only appeared in 29 games last season, mainly due to a hamstring injury, after sitting out the previous season with foot ailments.

He’s been doing more with them than he has in the past but again, this is going to come down to health,” Lopez said. “They’ve been doing some different things. trying to get him ready. I know that’s been a focus for him and his family, getting his lower body ready to play more than 30 games in a season. … something he’s only done once in his NBA career.”

Ideally, Williamson would suit up in at least 65 games, which would make him eligible for postseason awards.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks big man Dwight Powell is proud of what Team Canada accomplished in the FIBA World Cup, he told Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Canada not only qualified for the Olympics, but received a bronze medal for beating Team USA in the third-place game. “We have a really good group of guys – more guys than went to the World Cup that played a big role in qualifying us for the World Cup and eventually the Olympics,” Powell said. “We had a really good, committed group of guys that had a lot of pride and got the job done. It was a long time coming. And then to be able to medal in the World Cup at the same time is huge. So it was a great summer.”
  • There’s plenty for the much improved Thunder to look forward to in the upcoming season, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who lists 23 things for fans to get excited about. At the top of the list is Chet Holmgren‘s debut after missing last season with a foot injury.
  • The Mavericks are interested in Buddy Hield but there hasn’t been much movement in trade talks with the Pacers. Get the details here.
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