Southwest Notes: Zion, Luka, Kyrie, Clarke, Spurs

The Pelicans got some good news on Thursday. As Christian Clark of writes, Zion Williamson exited Wednesday’s loss to Orlando with a finger injury, but appears to have avoided a significant injury. Head coach Willie Green said the former No. 1 overall pick is considered day-to-day, with his status for Friday’s game up in the air.

Z is good,” Green said at Thursday’s practice. “X-rays were negative. Everything structurally was fine. Just some soreness in his finger.”

New Orleans has dropped four of its past five games to fall to 45-31, the No. 7 seed in the West. Only two games separate the No. 5 Mavericks from the No. 9 Lakers in the hotly-contested conference, Clark notes.

Williamson, 23, recently became eligible for postseason awards after appearing in his 65th game this season.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • When asked whether the Mavericks would consider resting Luka Doncic and/or Kyrie Irving in the final few games before the postseason, head coach Jason Kidd said it would likely depend on the standings, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “As we go forward, somewhere over the weekend, we could talk about where we stand,” Kidd said as part of a larger quote. “ … But right now it’s full go and those guys are playing.” With seven games remaining, Dallas is a half-game ahead of No. 7 New Orleans.
  • Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke had an uncertain future after tearing his left Achilles tendon in March 2023. However, the 27-year-old forward/center has looked good in his first four games of 2023/24, according to Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, which is an encouraging sign for both the player and the team. Clarke, who is in the first season of a four-year, $50MM extension, is averaging 12.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 1.3 BPG while shooting 60.5% from the floor in 21.0 MPG.
  • The Spurs have one of the worst records in the league at 18-58, but they have gone 7-10 over their past 17 games and head coach Gregg Popovich said watching the team progress has been a “real joy,” writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “They have gotten better and better as the year goes along,” Popovich said. “In the beginning, it was weird. Nobody knew what to do around Victor (Wembanyama). He didn’t know what to do around them. They had never played before and with someone of Victor’s size. So it took time, but they are much more comfortable now.
View Comments (0)