Continued improvement and consistency from Nickeil Alexander-Walker could make it more feasible for the Pelicans to move Lonzo Ball down the road, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. Alexander-Walker, a first-round pick in 2019, erupted for a career-high 37 points against the Clippers on Wednesday.
“The big measure for young guys is not what happens when everything is rolling your way,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s what happens when you’re having a frustrating night.”
We have more from the Southwest Division:
- The Rockets defeated the Spurs in their first game since the James Harden trade and rookie forward Jae’Sean Tate said the team was determined to put up a unified front, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Houston also played without the most prominent player it acquired, Victor Oladipo, as well as injured guards John Wall and Eric Gordon. “There’s a lot of guys — on the team and coaching staff and the GM — everybody has so much to prove,” Tate said.
- Kristaps Porzingis‘ season debut reinforced the feeling that he may be best suited at power forward, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Porzingis often played center last season when Dwight Powell injured his Achilles. The Mavericks are unbeaten this season since Willie Cauley-Stein became the starter at center. The Mavs are likely to keep Porzingis at power forward for the time being, Townsend adds.
- Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. vows that he’ll return to action this season, as he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. He suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee in August. “I’ll be back this [season]. Who knows when, but it won’t be too long,” he said.